In the wake of flooding, a warning for dog owners

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A reminder for dog owners who enjoy canine kisses: make sure your dog is vaccinated for leptospirosis, or lepto for short. 

Dr. Diane Ford with the Vetting Zoo in Palmyra is seeing an increase in dogs with lepto. 

Many wild animals carry the lepto bacteria in their urine, and it is easily spread after heavy rain and flooding. 

People can get it from infected dogs, or through contaminated water. In both humans and dogs, it causes flu-like symptoms, and in severe cases, kidney or liver failure. 

“I feel very strongly that now because of the climate that we are experiencing and the rains that anyone is going to be at risk for lepto especially small children who may not use a lot of care when touching their animals and they may be exposed to the bacteria,” said Dr. Ford. 

There is a dog vaccine for lepto, but it is a separate vaccine that vets usually offer, but some owners pass on because of the extra cost. 

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