CHICAGO (CBS) — A prominent veterinary clinic has suggested dog owners keep a close eye on their pets, and get them vaccinated against a weather-related disease that’s moving into Chicago.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Dr. Natalie Marx, co-owner of Blum Animal Hospital at 3219 N. Clark St., said standing water from melting snow and now rain can harbor leptospira bacteria from raccoons and rats.
“Dogs are affected by … drinking contaminated water directly where rodents urinate – so puddles on the street, alleyways, standing water sources in poor-draining courtyards,” she said.
Marx said she already has seen two cases of the bacterial infection leptospirosis in dogs that were vaccinated against the disease.
“If you’re taking a dog into an alleyway every day to urinate, and it keeps stepping in the water and drinking the bacteria over and over and over, no vaccine is going to protect against that,” she said. “So we’re going to have … a very high environmental challenge this year because of the weather, and the rodent population.”
Marx said leptospirosis can start out looking like the flu, and quickly lead to kidney or liver failure.