The City of Casa Grande is urging dog owners to talk with their veterinarian about vaccinating their pet for leptospirosis after a dog may have been exposed to the bacteria that causes the disease at “A Leash on Life Dog Park” at 2525 N Pinal Avenue in Casa Grande. The leptospirosis bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals and can infect dogs and humans through contact with the contaminated urine, water, or wet soil.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) signs of leptospirosis in dogs may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
While the “A Leash on Life Dog Park” remains open, warning signs about the recent exposure have been posted.
“While we routinely clean hard surfaces at the dog park, you cannot sterilize dirt and grass which is where exposure is most likely to take place,” said Community Services Director Steve Hardesty. “We recommend that pet owners talk with their veterinarian about vaccinating their dog for leptospirosis before using dog parks or taking them to other areas where a large number of dogs may be present.”
The AVMA says vaccines effectively prevent leptospirosis and protect dogs for at least 12 months. The AVMA recommends an annual vaccination for at-risk dogs. Reducing your dog’s exposure to possible sources of the leptospirosis bacteria can also reduce chances of infection.
For more information about leptospirosis, go to the AVMA website at www.avma.org. For questions about leptospirosis at local dog parks, contact Pinal County Public Health at 520-866-7325 or the Casa Grande Animal Control and Adoption Center at 520-426-9300.