A bacteria has been spreading among several dogs throughout the northern area of New Jersey according to veterinary groups. As a result, dog owners have been warned about the issue, what symptoms to watch out for and how to protect their pets. The bacteria of concern is known as leptospirosis and at least five dogs in the Paramus, New Jersey area currently have been diagnosed with the disease. It is important to know what leptospirosis is and the symptoms that your dog will exhibit.

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that dogs can contract through contamination.

Something they encounter would penetrate their skin and spread throughout their bodies in the bloodstream. Local veterinarians around Paramus, New Jersey believe that the increase of the disease in the area is transmitted through rat urine. Dogs can be exposed to the Leptospirosis by lapping up puddles, creeks, ponds or any other standing water that has been contaminated by the rodents. The water helps in keeping the bacteria alive. After being infected, the disease spreads through the dog’s body, affecting the kidneys, liver, reproductive system and central nervous system. Without immediate medical attention, the victim can have fatal results.

What dog owners must watch for to protect their pets

Vets warn pet owners to observe their dogs for any changes in their behavior and any symptoms such as fever, lethargy, increase or decrease in urination and a loss of appetite.

Although these are typical signs of other medical issues, it is crucial that you visit your veterinarian to find out what the cause may be affecting your pet’s health. The bacterial disease is easily treated if caught in its early stages. To protect your dog from contamination of this bacterial disease, monitor your pet well when on walks and hikes.

Further prevention involves a vaccination against leptospirosis, especially in these areas where the disease is currently more prominent. A little preventative can go a long way in saving the life of your dog.