As much fun as it is to watch your dog splash and play in a puddle or swim in a pond, it might not be as harmless as you think. Standing water can be hazardous, especially if small rodents have left their mark.
If your four-legged friend swims in ponds or drinks from puddles, they risk becoming infected with leptospira. The thread-like pathogens come from the urine of small rodents and spread through the entire dog’s body within a week, warns the German animal welfare organisation Aktion Tier.
The initial symptoms are subtle: tiredness, lack of appetite and then a fever. Without treatment, this can develop quickly into kidney failure. If the disease is this advanced, there is little a veterinarian can do to save the dog.
But there is an effective way to prevent even the slightest risk of your dog catching this disease – a vaccine against leptospirosis.
Two vaccinations at intervals of three to four weeks, as well as annual updates, provide the best protection.
“However, pet owners should make sure that their vet uses a vaccine that targets four subtypes of leptospira, ” advises Tina Hoelscher, a veterinarian at Aktion Tier.
If this vaccine is used, your furry friend is safe. Only then can swims in ponds and drinks from puddles be truly enjoyed. – dpa
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