Photo by Andy Dukleth
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Thursday that there has been an outbreak of leptospirosis, an infectious bacterial disease in dogs in the area.
Since October, 34 confirmed and probable cases of leptospirosis have been documented among local dogs, mainly in the Hillcrest and Mission Hills areas. Many dogs were required to be hospitalized and at least one was given euthanasia.
Boarding is a major risk factor in kennels allowing dog-to-dog interactions, although some sick dogs only had contact with other dogs in dog parks. Kennels who were involved with the cases informed the owners of all possible contacts of the diagnosed cases and remained closed for at least two weeks for cleaning and disinfection.
The symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs are varied and may include fever, muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low energy and frequent urination, which can be bloody.
There have been no human cases associated with this outbreak in dogs, but anyone who develops fever, headaches, muscle aches – especially in the back and calves – or their health care provider after coming in contact with a sick dog Must see.
This week, the county sent a health advice to local physicians and veterinarians about the outbreak.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by various species of spirochete bacteria called Leprospira. These bacteria can infect many species of mammals, including humans, dogs, mice, rats, raccoons, skirting, and oposomes. Bacteria are shed into the urine of infected animals and can contaminate food, water, soil, or bedding. Dogs and people can become infected through skin friction, direct contact with the mucous membrane, or by drinking contaminated water.
The county’s public health officer Drs. Wilma Wootton said, “When dogs go to kennels and parks and play, lick and smell each other, they are at risk of getting these bacteria.” “If your dog shows any signs, you should take it to your vet immediately.”
A vaccine is available to prevent leptospirosis in dogs, especially for those who ride in Kinnell and often dog parks.
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