Veterinarians: Cases of deadly infection in dogs on the rise

Veterinarians in the Metro Detroit area are warning pet owners about a bacterial infection that can make your dog sick as cases continue to grow.

The infection is called Leptospirosis, or Lepto for short, and local vets said they've seen a surge in cases.

"I think these things do kind of have a natural ebb and flow and then you'll see increases in cases over a period of time," said Dr. Alan Louis of Deporre Veterinary Hospital.

Louis says the weather has an affect on Lepto cases -- when it's warmer, like it has been in recent weeks (prior to the freezing temperatures), the ground doesn't freeze and there's more standing water. 

"They encounter it through the urine of the infected animals, typically mice, or skunks, or foxes, things like that," he said.

The most common symptoms are drinking and urinating excessively, and vomitting.

"We're a little bit more concerned about dogs that are more vulnerable, so puppies for sure and then dogs that are older," Dr. Louis said.

The infection can be treated with antibiotics but Dr. Louis recommends that unless advised otherwise, getting your dog vaccinated against Lepto.

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