BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – Pet owners are increasingly concerned after several cases of leptospirosis were found in local dogs.
Western New York State vets are now reminding pet owners what they can do to keep their pets safe.
Lepto is a bacterial infection that can attack a dog’s liver, kidneys, and eyes.
The disease can remain in the animal’s body after being treated and even spread to humans. Dogs can pick it up in muddy areas where water and soil are frequented by other wildlife.
The emergency veterinary clinic told 7ABC’s Pheben Kassahun that the clinic had seen around 24 cases in the past month. Ken-Ton Animal Clinic saw four.
A family from Tonawanda lost their dog to illness and shared their story with 7ABC.
When Kaitlyn Keser and her family brought their Oslow home in late October from a breeder, they never expected that his time with them would be cut short.
“He was 7 weeks old when we got him. He had his first set of shots,” Keser said.
Three weeks later, the 10-week-old blue heel and border collie mix was taken to the emergency vet clinic on Genesee Street where the family learned he had contracted leptospirosis.
“He threw up on the way home. We thought it was motion sickness because he got it that early when we got it too. We didn’t think much about it until Halloween, he started throwing up a bit more, ”Keser said. “It was phlegm. It wasn’t food, he wasn’t able to digest anything or even really water. He was throwing up five times an hour.”
At the time of bacterial infection, the puppy was too young to receive the lepto vaccine. It caused so much irreversible damage to Oslow’s liver and kidneys.
We had to take unfortunate measures and not let him suffer anymore, ”she said.
The director and owner of Ellicott Street Animal Hospital, Dr R. Reed Stevens, said: “Turning yellow or some people call it jaundice or jaundice, if their gums turn yellow, their eyes turn yellow, the inside of their ears turns yellow. a very advanced disease. “
Dr Stevens said cases of lepto in dogs are common in the fall.
Dr Stevens said: “The key point is that if things are wet, which they are in the fall, as they are today, they are at risk of getting leptospirosis if left unprotected.”
The bacteria are usually carried in the urine of small animals such as mice, rats, squirrels, and even deer.
He added: “If any of these animals are carriers of this bacteria, in their urine and urinating in a puddle, or even on wet grass that your dog can lick or drink, they can ingest it. bacterium.”
It is also important to note that lepto can be transmitted to humans.
Dr Stevens explained, “It’s a disease that can pass from your dog to you. When our staff suspects at the hospital, let’s say at the kennel. We have to be very careful and take care around the urine or saliva of this. dog because our staff can get leptospirosis. “
“You just have to keep everything clean and make sure you watch everyone else. If they eat and lick stuff in puddles, they probably shouldn’t. but guess that’s the only thing I can say, “Keser said.
Unlike vaccines against parvo and rabies, veterinarians encourage dog owners to get vaccinated against leptospirosis every year.
The earliest a dog can receive the vaccine is between eight and nine weeks.
Vets explained that the vaccines cost between $ 25 and $ 45. Puppies, however, need two in the form of a booster.