Record rains in and around San Francisco, California, are being blamed for an uptick in a bacterial infection which can make dogs sick – sometimes fatally. According to ABC 7 News, Jeannine Giordan’s senior cattle dog, “Gertie,” is one victim of the sometimes deadly bacteria, Leptospirosis.
Giordan told ABC 7 News about the sudden onset of the 13-year-old dog’s sickness, “It came on pretty hard and pretty fast which is the scary part of leptospirosis. Before you even know you have it’s too late to do anything about it.”
Dog owners can get a vaccine to help protect their pet from the bacterial infection, but there is a catch – the vaccine doesn’t cover all strains that a dog might encounter. However, the vaccine is an owner’s best chance to help prevent their pet from falling ill.
According to PetMD, leptospirosis can spread throughout a dog’s entire body, impacting major organs, such as the liver and kidneys, as well as the central nervous system and reproductive system. Typically, younger dogs, with less developed immune systems, are the most vulnerable to the bacterial infection.
There is a wide range of symptoms which can accompany the infection, including fever, chills, lack of appetite, depression, lethargy, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, as well as yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes. Owners who believe that their pet may have been exposed to the bacteria should visit a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. It is important to note that people can also contract this infection.
The rainy season has veterinary clinics in the San Francisco area seeing more and more cases of leptospirosis. Dogs who are falling ill may have consumed standing water that has been contaminated by urine from a wild animal.
(Photos via screenshots/ABC 7 News)
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