: 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.


Not My Job: Comedian Carol Burnett Gets Quizzed On Cougars (The Cats, Of Course)

In the 1970s, families would sit down together every Saturday to watch The Carol Burnett Show. The first five seasons of the legendary variety show are now out on DVD.

Time To Pursue The Pawpaw, America's Fleeting Fall Fruit

Ever seen a pawpaw in the supermarket? Didn't think so. Ohioan Chris Chmiel wants to change that by growing and promoting this seasonal, mango-like fruit that's native to the U.S.

An Evangelical Leader's Changing Views On Gun Ownership

As legislators fail to find solutions to mass shootings, Evangelical Minister Rob Schenck thinks religious groups have a part to play in educating people about guns and their relationships with them.

This Week In Data Collection News, And The Privacy Paradox

As California tightened its digital privacy protections, news involving Google, Pandora and other firms highlighted the way companies increasingly rely on data about their users. How much do we care?

Leave a Comment

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