Jan 17 2017

The Trouble With Water Puddles And Your Pets

The rainy weather has stopped and your pets are ready to get back to their routine of going on walks, playing in the yard, and other outdoor activities. You may see your pets splashing in the water puddles or even drinking the water. Those pools of standing water can harbor some health hazards.

Giardia is a single-celled organism called a protozoa that lives in the small intestine of dogs. Giardia thrives in sitting water. Giardia is microscopic so you will not see it swimming around in the water. If your pet steps in the puddles and then licks his paws afterwards, he could ingest the Giardia cyst that attached to his damp fur. If your pet drinks from that infected water, he will ingest the Giardia cyst. This can then cause him to have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, or sometimes may not show any symptoms. Your pet can be shedding the Giardia cysts in his environment through his bowel movements, causing a larger problem, especially if there is still sitting water in his surroundings. Giardia can also be contagious to humans.

Leptospirosis organisms are bacteria that also thrive in water. Your pet can ingest these organisms from the infected water puddles he drinks or splashes on. Leptospirosis is commonly seen in rodents, wild animals, pigs, sheep, and cows. Symptoms may include  vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea. It can also affect the liver and kidneys.  In some cases the pet may not show any signs and can continue to shed the organisms in to their environment.  The Leptospirosis vaccine works well to protect your dog.

Heartworm is a parasite that is spread to pets from mosquito bites. Your pet cannot ingest the heartworm from water puddles. The dangers of the water puddles is the growth of mosquitoes that can then be carriers of heartworm. They will lay their eggs in sitting water or near water. An egg will hatch in to larvae within 24-48 hours. The male mosquito will feed on plant nectar, while the female  will feed on the blood extracted from the hosts she lands on. The infected mosquito will then deposit little baby heartworms on to the surface of the pet’s skin and the heartworms will enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound.  Check your pet’s environment and dump out any standing water to help reduce the mosquito population and lowering the risk of heartworms.

You can help keep your pet safe by keeping them from splashing around in water puddles and  drinking from puddles. Do a thorough walk through after it rains or sprinklers are used to ensure there is no standing water sitting in containers, pots etc. If you keep your pet’s drinking water outside, ensure to put clean fresh water in it every day. If you have birds baths, again keep them fresh and clean each day. Please call us if you have any questions  (714)771-3261.

-Susan Aranda

pethospo | Pet Safety, Pet Wellness

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