Amid the push to get a boost to a COVID-19 vaccine, Hollywood dog owners are rushing to protect not only themselves from the threat of the pandemic but also their furry friends.
However, the canine vaccine they were looking for was not made by Pfizer or Moderna – it was a vaccine to protect against a recent outbreak of leptospirosis in dogs in the Los Angeles area. Angeles and New York.
While veterinary hospitals in urban areas typically see about 15 to 20 cases of this infectious disease each year, a recent increase has seen more than 100 cases in LA and New York, in just one year. past few months. The infection can cause loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, coma, diarrhea, dehydration and, in more severe cases, kidney and liver failure, requiring 24-hour hospitalization for several days.
The particular strain behind this outbreak passed from dog to dog. VCA’s regional medical director, Dr. Silene St. “So it can be transmitted in dog parks, daycare facilities, boarding kennels, and other high-social areas for dogs,” says Bernard. Many indoor dog play places around LA, as well as veterinarians, have sent out warnings to their customers to make sure they have vaccinated their four-legged friends.
That means Hollywood dog owners are working hard to maintain a different vaccination routine, as dogs need two shots about three weeks apart. TV producer Tamara Rawitt, a dog owner and resident of Pacific Palisades, California, says: “A woman ran up to me in the dog park and said, ‘Between three shots of me and two scenes. For his filming, I had to hire an assistant to schedule it. “She added that she also recently encountered” a woman with a dog coat made for Vax 2.0. We live to get through the crises here.”
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria excreted in the urine of infected animals, most commonly rats, raccoons, opossums, and other infected dogs. Once bacteria have infected water or soil, they can stay there for weeks, even months.
When it comes to the rising cases in New York, Dr. Nahvid Etedali, staff physician at Manhattan Animal Medical Center, says he sees two factors at play: “Rat and rainfall.”
“I have read that we have about 2 million rats living in NYC and the number of complaints regarding rat infestations over the past year has increased,” he said. “Direct contact of dogs with wild animals is not a common mode of transmission of leptospirosis, but more rats means more rat urine. Combined with increased rainfall, this can lead to more exposure of domestic animals to leptospires in parks and on the street. “
But although leptospirosis can be very serious, Bernard and Etedali both say vaccination is the best way to protect your animals.
“We can see an increase in cases, but this is not the same with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Etedali said. “Airborne pathogens such as COVID-19 are much easier to transmit and can lead to the rapid spread that occurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a dog to become infected with leptospirosis, they must come into direct contact with the urine of an infected person.”
Bernard added: “It is important to note that this disease can also affect humans. “If your dog is diagnosed with leptospirosis, you should wear gloves to handle them and avoid touching any items contaminated with urine until treatment is complete (usually 14 days of antibiotics) and Keep your dog separate from other animals.”
A version of this story first appeared in the December 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.