Hot Weather Increases Leptospirosis Risk | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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

5 Under-The-Radar Reads From Librarian Nancy Pearl

Pearl shares the books she loved this year that you might not have heard of. Her list includes a Hollywood satire, two thrillers, a young adult novel and a nonfiction book about World War I.
NPR

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don't expect to see McDonald's there anytime soon.
NPR

3 Business Best-Sellers Show Inequality Is Now The Hot Topic

Many business books try to help you get rich quick. But three of 2014's biggest sellers focused on unfairness and inequality. Economists say expect more: Books on inequality are riding a huge wave.
NPR

U.S. Authorities Investigate, Sony Reels From Computer Hack

The White House has stopped short of naming North Korea as the aggressor in the cyberattack against Sony Pictures. That hack resulted in the cancellation of the film The Interview.

Leave a Comment

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