Leptospirosis appears on rise in NYC
Veterinarians and dog owners in New York are on alert for leptospirosis after reports this week that two Brooklyn dogs died of the disease and dozens more have been hospitalized.
The infectious illness rarely strikes the city in high numbers, but vets say it seems to be hitting a little earlier and harder this year, the New York Daily News reported.
“Lepto likes warm, wet weather and we’ve got that to a T,” said Dr. Cathy Langston, a renal specialist with the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, which is treating three dogs for the disease.
The swift-moving illness is spread by a bacteria in the urine of rats, skunks, raccoons and other infected animals, which dogs can come in contact with through contaminated water or moist soil. The disease can damage the kidney and liver and prove fatal if untreated.
The first signs in dogs are weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhea or bloody urine.
The Daily News article says Amy Tiscornia, a waitress, returned home from work to her 4-year-old pit bull Bird unable to move. The white dog’s skin and belly were glowing yellow from jaundice and his eyes, she said, “were the color of Mountain Dew.”
The dog fully recovered after three days of treatment in a Long Island animal hospital.
And after a week of round-the-clock IV and treatment at a Long Island animal hospital — amounting to a $7,000 bill — Traci Schiffer’s Boston terrier Fenway also recovered.
Both women live in the East Village and frequently take their dogs to East River Park, where the canines play in the soggy fields and puddles of still water left by the intense rains, the story noted.
A Health Department spokeswoman said it is not considered an outbreak. In 2007, 17 cases were reported in the five boroughs.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bacteria, brooklyn, contaminated, deaths, disease, dog, dogs, illness, kidenys, lepto, leptospirosis, liver, new york, puddles, raccoons, rats, sick, skunks, soil, standing water, symptoms, veterinarian, veterinary, vets