Protecting you, your pet against potentially deadly Leptospirosis

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 18, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe


It’s a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect both humans and pets. It’s going around midtown but local vets say it’s nothing to be alarmed about because there is a vaccine.

It’s called Leptospirosis and it spread through the urine of infected animals where it can live in water and soil for months.  Those who I spoke with on Friday say it’s really all about being aware of your surroundings and being a responsible pet owner.

Veterinarian Jennifer Clay with Utopia Animal Hospital says Leptospirosis is nothing new for midtown, but she sees it as more of a Memphis wide issue because of the hot humid summers.

“The most common places we find it are in rat feces or really any kind of rodent, mice, rats, and raccoons can carry it,” said Clay.

Its spread through an infected animal’s urine and lives in standing water and soil where your pet can pick it up and then potentially infect you.

“We can also be exposed to it by contacting fluid that has the bacteria and that getting into our mucus membranes like in our eyes or mouth or a cut or something like that,” said Clay.

It can be hard to diagnose in both pets and humans so the best prevention is getting your pet vaccinated against it and watching where he steps and what he eats when you’re out and about.

Andrew Kay is the owner of Midtown K-9 Care Home Visits, and he’s says there’s no reason to be alarmed.

“It’s not uncommon and the best way I can explain it when it comes down to it is picking up after your pet,” Kay said.

FOX13 News caught up with him at the Overton Dog Park where he was out walking one of his clients. He said he’s always on the lookout for anything that’s potentially dangerous.

“It’s basically being aware of what they’re into and keeping them away from getting into anything that could be harmful and in this case it would be fecal matter,” said Kay.

A good practice on any day so you and you’re pup can continue enjoying your time outside.

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