Pima County Veterinarians Report Additional Cases of Leptospirosis in Dogs

State Veterinarian Recommends Dog Owners Consider Vaccination

May 25, 2017
Media Contact: Laura Oxley, 602-542-3244

(Phoenix) Veterinarians in Pima County have reported four dogs tested positive for Leptospirosis this month. This year there have been 24 cases reported to the state veterinarian’s office. Leptospirosis, or “Lepto,” can cause serious illness or even death in dogs. There is a vaccine to protect dogs from the illness, and it is treatable. People can also catch Leptospirosis from dogs.

“With the steady increase in the number of dogs diagnosed with Leptospirosis throughout Arizona, dog owners may want to have their pets vaccinated,” said Dr. Peter Mundschenk, state veterinarian. “Dog boarding and day care facilities may consider requiring proof of a Leptospirosis vaccination prior to accepting dogs into their facility.”

Some activities that can increase risk for Leptospirosis are outdoor dogs that hike or swim in natural waters, hunting dogs, dogs that have frequent exposure to areas with lots of other dogs (dog shows, dog parks, pet boarding facilities) or dogs that travel frequently.

Symptoms of a dog with Leptospirosis include drinking or urinating more than usual, not urinating, redness in the eyes or reluctance to eat. If you are concerned about your dog, contact your veterinarian.

The bacteria that causes Leptospirosis can spread through an infected dog’s urine. People should avoid areas where pets urinate, wash their hands after taking dogs for walks and wash clothes. If you have questions about your health, contact your health care provider or your county health office.

Veterinarians in the state are required to report positive test results to the state veterinarian within 30 days.

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