Seventh dog contracts potentially deadly disease in Pima County - Tucson News Now

Seventh dog contracts potentially deadly disease in Pima County

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Several dogs in Pima County have contracted a potentially deadly disease, according to authorities.

Officials said Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that can infect people and animals, has shown up in six dogs but there have been no human cases reported.

The most recent case came from a dog that frequented the Udall Dog Park on Tanque Verde Road

Dog owners are urged to avoid the area and consult a vet if their dog has been in that area recently.

Leptospirosis is the number one infectious cause of kidney failure in dogs and it is also linked to liver disease.

Pets and humans can contract the disease by coming into contact with the urine or feces of infected animals, like wild animals or livestock.

The symptoms of Leptospirosis are: vomiting, diarrhea, drinking and/or urinating more than usual, lack of urination, redness in the eyes, depression, change of appetite and fever

"If your animal does contract Leptospirosis, it can be months and months of treatment, and it can painful, and it can be very expensive," said Michael Morefield of the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

Most human cases are contracted through outdoor activities when the person comes into contact with contaminated water sources.

Things are worse in other parts of the state. Since February 2016, more than 70 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed in Maricopa County.

State Veterinarian Dr. Peter Mundschenk said due to the recent outbreaks, dog owners should consider vaccinating their pets. He also said dog boarding and day care facilities should consider requiring proof of a Leptospirosis vaccination prior to boarding.

Common Signs Of Leptospirosis

• Drinking and/or urinating more than usual

• Lack of urination

• Redness in eyes

• Depression

• Loss of appetite

• Fever over 103.5

Common Ways To Catch It

• Hiking and swimming in natural waters

• Contact with other animal species, like farm animals or wildlife

• Hunting

• Exposure of standing water or flooded areas

• Exposure to other dogs in high density areas, like dog shows, dog parks or pet boarding facilities

• Frequent travel or contact with dogs that travel

How To Protect Yourself

• Avoid areas that pets urinate

• Wash your hands after taking pets for walks

• Wash clothes that may have come in contact with pet urine

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