Dog Walkers in York are being advised to avoid stagnant water as a local veterinary practice give warnings over a deadly disease spread by rats
Dog walkers and Dog owners in Haxby, Wigginton and Strensall are being warned about the risk of canine leptospirosis – a severe bacterial infection also known as Weil’s disease (in Humans).
This is a potentially fatal infection affecting dogs that have come into contact with stagnant and filthy flood water.
It is strongly advised that dogs are washed after a walk or playing in stagnant water with fresh clean water and a good dog shampoo. This is important in case they lick themselves once they get home this especially includes their feet.
Although there have been no recent cases of leptospirosis reported with dogs in Haxby, Wigginton or Strensall, quite a large number of dogs have been brought into the local practices with upset stomachs. Vets suspect it may well be connected to dogs coming into contact with contaminated water following the recent floods which have had a serious affect in various parts of York Although the villages of Haxby Wigginton and Strensall were luckily not affected by the recent floods in the residential areas the Foss did burst its banks and now it has subsided a lot of areas are still affected by standing river water.
Rats are not the only, but they are by far the main carriers of this disease, the bacteria is transmitted through urine that contaminates water and soil and the surrounding land for up to six months. Dogs can also pick up the bacteria through a cut or split in the skin when they come into contact with any contaminated soil or if they drink from any stagnant water.
Symptoms are severe and can include, vomiting diarrhoea, high temperature, and loss of appetite, lethargy, and blood in the urine. However many dogs with mild canine leptospirosis infections don’t show any symptoms at all.
As dog walkers living in this area of York we are lucky that our walks in Haxby and Wigginton can include some great walks along the river or some lovely dog walks in Strensall, but this is also where rats potentially live as well. Stagnant floodwater is notorious for the spread of this horrible disease. Although the recent floods were unprecedented, during this time of year there will always be stagnant water either near the rivers or around Strensall common, so please when out walking your dog try and keep them away from any stagnant water that could potentially harbour canine leptospirosis.