What is “Lepto”? Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine.
Risk factors include:
Occupational exposure — farmers, ranchers, slaughterhouse workers, trappers, veterinarians, loggers, sewer workers, rice field workers, and military personnel
Recreational activities — fresh water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and trail biking in warm areas
Household exposure — pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems, and infected rodents
EASTPOINTE, Mich. — An outbreak of a potentially fatal infection in animals has prompted metro Detroit veterinaries to urge owners to get their pets vaccinated.
Leptospirosis, a contagious bacterial infection, has been reported in Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Warren and Eastpointe.
Vets in those cities attribute the sudden rise in the disease to road construction in the Interstate 696 and Interstate 94 area . The vets explained that the construction displaces rats, which carry the bacteria in their urine. The rats spread out once above ground, making their way into the paths of pets.
Michelle Dahl said her 3-year-old Maltipoo, Maximo, was more than just a pet.
“My husband and I couldn’t have children of our own. So, he was our baby,” she said.
Dahl said Maximo was happy and healthy until something dramatically changed over the course of 24 hours.
“He was just lethargic. He just wanted to lie down,” she said.
Six days later, Maximo died.
“He died in my husband’s arms,” Dahl said.