I came across this and wanted to be sure to pass it along. There are probably many of you that, like me, take your canine companions out for walks or hikes in areas where there is wildlife, maybe the woods or hiking trail or even just a park area where you may find critters.  This is just something to keep  in mind and keep an eye out for.

It was just a case of allergies for 7-month old Riley. But while visiting the vet Wednesday, her owner learned about an unsettling disease. “It is concerning because you take them for walks in different places, we take them to Rock Cut hiking with us and there’s alot of wild animals,” said Pet Owner Andrea Rowan.

Her vet, Mike Harter, told her about Leptospirosis. It’s a harmful bacteria carried in wildlife feces. Dogs can pick it up by simply splashing around in a puddle. “Now is the worst time, after all the rain we had this year,” Harter said.

The consequences for our four-legged friends can be serious, with kidney and liver failure. And it doesn’t matter the size of dog. “We’ve seen several little dogs, you wouldn’t expect it, they walked in the middle of a puddle that a possum peed in,” Harter said.

The trouble with detecting this disease is that dogs don’t show specific symptoms. They’re just sick with a fever, sluggish and don’t eat. Harter says your best bet is just bring the dog to the vet once they’re under the weather. And it should help.

“It’s treatable with antibiotics. If we catch it at the right time we can treat it and eliminate it,” Harter said. There’s also a vaccine available that Harter is just starting to use at his clinic. Even so, pet owners, like Rowan, say she’ll be keeping a closer watch on her pooch when Rily’s allergies are gone and she’s back outside.

So far this year, Harter’s clinic has seen at least a dozen dogs with this disease. He says it takes about five-to-seven days for Leptospirosis to kick in. Harter says this disease can be fatal. But with the right response and treatment, you can avoid a deadly outcome. He also says other pets like cats are resistant to this disease, so the concern is more for dogs.(WIFR)

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