Dog owners and Veterinarians, on high alert in light of Dog Flu and Lepto cases

Dog owners and Veterinarians, on high alert in light of Dog Flu and Lepto cases.

The Dogs owners in Westside,  Los Angeles were alerted following a rapid outbreak of canine influenza as well as Leptospirosis (Lepto), a pathogenic bacterium, in dogs.

As many as 46 suspected cases of Influenza were reported. Whereas,  Leptospirosis cases saw a prominent surge from  10-12 cases a year to about  75 cases since late spring. According to the reports of Dr Jennifer Sinatra, from the Los Angeles County Veterinary Health, a major rise in cases was observed particularly in July, and this outbreak is probably the largest in the history of LA.

A higher number of cases were reported along the westside of Los Angeles, including areas like Venice, Santa Monica and Brentwood.

Leptospirosis is a contagious disease caused by bacteria, Leptospira. The disease prompts serious damage to the kidney and liver. In severe cases, it can be extremely fatal. Being an infectious disease, Lepto is communicated to another dog or human by direct contact with the urine of an infected dog. The disease is transmitted from canine to canine through bite wounds and ingestion of infected tissue.

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According to Dr Sinatra, maintaining proper hygiene when caring for a sick dog is absolutely important.  Clinical signs of dogs with Lepto include increased drinking and urination, lethargy and loss of appetite. Most cases of this outbreak have been reported in community settings such as dog parks, doggy daycares and other zones of group activities.

As for the case of Dog influenza, well, it is a highly contagious disease and almost all dogs exposed to the virus are at the risk of becoming infected. CIV  generally spreads through direct contact with contaminated articles such as toys and water bowls or by coming in contact with the respiratory secretions from infected dogs – coughing, barking and sneezing.

The officials from the County veterinary healthcare, are urging dog owners to consult their veterinarians about getting their dogs vaccinated for both diseases, especially before entering boarding facilities or participating in group dog activities. In fact, it is advisable to completely avoid exposing your dog to community places until properly vaccinated.

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