: 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

A Photographer Gets Old — Over And Over — In 'The Many Sad Fates'

Photographer Phillip Toledano lost both his parents, an aunt and an uncle and began to wonder — what other dark turns did life have in store? He explores the possibilities in a new short film.
NPR

This Historian Wants You To Know The Real Story Of Southern Food

Michael Twitty wants credit given to the enslaved African-Americans who were part of Southern cuisine's creation. So he goes to places like Monticello to cook meals slaves would have eaten.
NPR

What All Those Pre-Dawn Tweets Say About Campaign Strategy

The Clinton campaign is taking both the high and low roads in responding to Trump's recent stumbles.
NPR

#NPRreads: Two Looks At America — And One Look At America's Pastime

Correspondents, editors and producers from NPR's newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading.

Leave a Comment

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