A third dog in Pima County has tested positive for Leptospirosis, prompting County officials to remind residents about the importance of protecting their pets. The case was identified after County health and animal care officials received notice from a local veterinarian. The dog, who has fully recovered from the illness, was not vaccinated before being exposed to the disease.
“We’ve seen Leptospirosis outbreaks in other cities that have caused 50 to 70 infections at a time,” said Kristen Auerbach, Director of Pima Animal Care Center. “We want to encourage our community to help us take simple steps to prevent the disease here in Pima County.”
Pima Animal Care Center officials say that following these simple steps can help prevent your pet from getting and spreading dangerous illnesses like Leptospirosis:
- Make sure your dog’s vaccines are current before coming to the dog park or boarding facility
- If your dog seems sick, keep them out of the dog park or boarding facility
- Do not let your dog drink from communal water bowls or puddles
- If your dog shows signs of illness or abnormal behavior, take it to a vet immediately
- Do not touch or let your dog interact with dogs that appear to be ill
As part of the effort to remind pet owners, Pima County is also putting information about preventing illness in places where pets most often interact – dog parks and boarding facilities. Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation officials are posting signs reminding owners to vaccinate the pets they bring to enjoy the park and to encourage them to practice safe watering and play while there. “We want people to enjoy our great facilities in a way that does not put their pet or the pets of others unnecessarily at risk,” said Sherrie Barfield, NRPR Assistant Operations and Maintenance Manager. Officials are also providing reminders about preventing infectious disease to pet boarding and healthcare providers within the County.
“Vaccination is one of the most important things a pet owner can to do protect their four-legged family members,” says Auerbach. “The cost of treating an illness and the distress placed on your pet when they are ill is much less than the cost of keeping their vaccination up to date.” Pima County has numerous low-cost vaccination services throughout the County. These resources can be found by searching online for pet vaccination in your area.
- Dog flu 101: An interview with Dr Cynda Crawford
- Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries
- Plague: An interview with Dr. Paul Ettestad
- A look at the neglected tropical disease, Chagas disease