Leptospirosis is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated urine, water or soil. The bacteria can survive in water or moist soil for a long time, sometimes for many months, and infected dogs can continue to shed bacteria in their urine for years.
Some dogs are at a higher risk of leptospirosis infection than other dogs. Dogs at higher risk include:
- Dogs that hike, wade or swim in and/or near natural water
- Hunting dogs
- Dogs that are frequently exposed to flooded areas
- Dogs that reside in rural areas where they could encounter wildlife or wildlife urine
- Dogs that have frequent exposure to other dogs and dog urine at places like dog shows, dog parks and pet boarding facilities
- Dogs that travel widely and have contact with other dogs and/or other animals
Sadly, Duvall and surrounding areas have seen several positive cases of leptospirosis recently — some of which have been fatal. This is a concern that pet owners should not take lightly, and we highly recommend having your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis before you spend more time outdoors this summer.