: News

Filed Under:

Hot Weather Increases Leptospirosis Risk

Play associated audio
Ashley Hughes gets her dog, Poppy, vaccinated against leptospirosis: a bacterial disease that spikes in the summer.
Rebecca Sheir
Ashley Hughes gets her dog, Poppy, vaccinated against leptospirosis: a bacterial disease that spikes in the summer.

By Rebecca Sheir

Temperatures in the D.C. area are expected to soar into the hundreds this weekend.

During hot days, canines face a higher risk of catching a potentially life-threatening bacterial disease.

Dr. Ashley Hughes and her dog, Poppy, often walk through Rock Creek Park. But the veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals says they wouldn’t do it if Poppy was not vaccinated against leptospirosis: a bacterial disease transmitted by rodent urine.

"A rat, opossum or raccoon will pee in a puddle or some mud, and a dog can drink out of the puddle or step in it,” Hughes explains.

She says it’s worse in warmer weather, since "you need puddles sitting around murky and warm for the bacteria to replicate."

Lepto can cause vomiting, diarrhea, even kidney and liver dysfunction. If diagnosed early, the disease can be treated with antibiotics in dogs, and in people, since humans can get lepto, too.

NPR

Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

The Starship Enterprise — from the original Star Trek series — has gotten a restoration fit for a real life spacecraft. It goes on display this week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
NPR

Click For Fewer Calories: Health Labels May Change Online Ordering Habits

Will it be a hamburger or hummus wrap for lunch? When customers saw indications of a meal's calorie content posted online, they put fewer calories in their cart, a study finds.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.