Water, as we all know is imperative for life on this planet of ours. Our bodies (dogs, cats and humans alike), are composed of roughly 70% water and it is vital for all cells and organs in order for them to function properly. Water also aids in digestive health, and even helps lubricate joints and protects our spinal cords. But as beneficial as water is, when pets drink from a contaminated water supply, it can have some very dire consequences with Leptospirosis being one of them.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a spiral shaped bacteria called Leptospira, and it’s mainly found in polluted water. In the fall, Pet Emergency Center can see an influx of Leptospirosis as a result of the weather, but it’s relatively common year round.
Pets that drink from rivers and lakes, especially in rural areas where farm animals reside, are particularly at risk, but more and more cases are popping up in urban areas as a result of habitat encroachment of local wildlife.
The symptoms of Leptospirosis vary in severity. Some animals are simply carriers and exude little to no signs of the illness, while others may suffer substantial organ failure. A few things to be aware of with Leptospirosis are that it can cause:
If caught early, antibiotics typically do the trick by killing off the Leptospira bacteria, but hospitalization may be required dependent on the state your pet. Not only is early detection of this bacteria incredibly important to the well being of your furry loved one, it’s also important to yours. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that it’s transmittable between species, and humans can get incredibly ill from it as well.
The poet William Blake said it chillingly accurately 2 centuries ago when he wrote… “Expect poison from the standing water.”
All my best.