ST. George – At least 13 cases of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that can infect humans, have been confirmed in dogs in St. George, officials say.
The disease can cause kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress and even death. , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ten of the confirmed cases are in patients with dogs at an animal hospital in Red Hills, and the other three are in other veterinary facilities, according to a report from the animal hospital. [
The outbreak may have been brought to southern Utah by an infected dog who stayed in Red Rock Pet Resort a few weeks ago, Dr. Scott Hanig, a veterinarian at Red Hills Animal Hospital, said in a statement.
Until the original sick dog was identified, Hanig theorized that the disease could have come from Phoenix, Arizona, which suffered a recent epidemic of leptospirosis.
"Bacteria can survive for months under the right conditions and are external. It is highly contagious for both dogs and humans," Hanig said in the release.
Sometimes it is not obvious for boarding schools or daycare for dogs that they shelter infected dogs, as dogs can spread the disease for months and show no clinical symptoms, Hanig notes in the release.
"This can happen at any pet establishment where the dogs are in close proximity," wrote a Facebook post from the pet resort.
At this point, about half of the sick dogs have been hospitalized and all dogs respond well to treatment, Hanig said.
Blood and urine tests have been used to diagnose cases of the disease, the release states.
To prevent the disease and prevent it from spreading, veterinarians at the animal hospital recommend that all dogs be vaccinated against leptospirosis, which was offered Tuesday at Red Hills Animal Hospital.
"The vaccine has been shown to protect dogs against most forms of leptospirosis
and is critical to managing the disease, "the release states.
Animal hospital staff quarantined diseased animals from others to prevent infection with other dogs, including separate study areas.
In addition, staff and physicians also "follow
the infection mainly spread through the urine of infected dogs, as leptospirosis accumulates in the blood and kidneys, according to an associate veterinarian in Red Hills."
"Other dogs and humans may be infected by Nr skin and mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose) from playing in shared pools or around urine from an infected dog, "said a veterinarian in a statement.
With this epidemic, the most common symptoms of infected dogs in Southern Utah are lethargy. , insolvency, sore muscles or joints, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, according to rel
The hospital received more than 300 phone calls for the disease and in an effort to further educate the community, a specialist has been scheduled to present the disease on September 1
"Now that this disease is in our area, it will take a coordinated effort from everyone involved in animal care so that it does not spread and cause a future.
outbreaks, "Hanig said in the message.