By Jennifer Reed
Since it began re-emerging in California and across the country several years ago, an increase in reported cases of Leptospirosis — a potentially fatal disease in dogs — has been documented in North San Diego County.
There have been at least 16 reported cases of the disease in North County over the last two years, including a recent suspected death in Carmel Mountain Ranch. These cases have been reported in the following cities: San Diego (Carmel Mountain Ranch), Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Oceanside, San Marcos, Carlsbad and Vista.
In addition, there have been at least four human exposures reported as a result of these cases, including one that required hospitalization.
Photo Credit: dogrando on Flickr
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects livestock, wildlife, companion animals and humans. The illness is most commonly transmitted through standing water or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Symptoms of the disease can vary, but common signs include fever, lethargy and vomiting. The disease can be fatal if left untreated or even if treatment is delayed.
Because of the zoonotic potential and high mortality rate of this disease, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) strongly recommends Leptospirosis vaccination for all dogs. Dogs at particularly high risk include those who frequent dog parks, visit nature areas that have an increase in wildlife traffic or spend any time outdoors, even if only in the yard.
At The Drake Center, our mission is to help pets live the longest, healthiest lives possible. It is our ethical responsibility to educate our clients about the risk factors that affect pets in our area and to recommend the best, most effective treatments available. With that in mind, it is our goal to ensure our clients have all the information they need to make informed choices for their families.