Rising reports of Leptospirosis cases in Pima County, humans can become sick too

Posted at 4:12 PM, May 25, 2017

Heads up dog owners! Veterinarians are seeing an uptick in a bacterial infection that could potentially killed your furry friends.

According to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, four dogs tested positive for Leptospirosis in Pima County this month. So far this year there have been 24 reported cases in the Grand Canyon State.

The inspection can cause serious illness and even death in dogs. However, humans can also become sick if they’re in direct contact with the infected animal. The bacterial infection is treatable with a vaccine, but left untreated it can lead to kidney and liver damage.

Some activities that may put dogs at a higher risk of contracting Leptospirosis include: hiking or swimming in natural water, hunting, dog parks, dog shows, pet boarding facilities and frequent travel.

Symptoms in dogs include drinking or urinating more than usual, not urinating at all, redness in the eyes or reluctance eating. Anyone who’s concerned that their dog is affected is urged to call their veterinarian as soon as possible.

The bacteria that causes Leptospirosis is spread through the dog’s urine. To stay safe, people should avoid areas where their pets urinate, wash their hands after taking dogs on walks and wash clothes after contact with pets.

Due to the rising cases, veterinarians are urging pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated.