CHICAGO (CBS) — Weeks of heavy rainfall have left standing water in streets, which could lead to an increased risk of infection for pets.

Veterinarians in parts of the Chicago area are reporting a noticeable increase in cases of Giardia, a parasite that can cause serious digestive problems.


Pets could become infected with Giardia by sniffing or drinking standing water contaminated with waste.

“They can get it from drinking puddles off the street, from stepping in wet areas and licking their feet, swimming in the lake, store front water bowls,” Dr. Natalie Marks, medical director of Blum Animal Hospital, told CBS 2.

To avoid infection, stay away from alleyways or places frequented by rats when walking your pet. Don’t let pets chew on grass or sniff other pet waste, and avoid standing water at places like dog parks or dog beaches.