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The Re-Emerging Threat Of Leptospirosis

As local governments ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms to slow the spread of Covid-19, urban rodentologists began to notice drastic changes in the movements and behaviors of city dwelling rats. Specifically, as restaurants cooked less food and produced less waste, hungry rats started spreading into suburban and residential areas where household kitchens are currently filling the niche.
While a plague of vermin might not seem particularly shocking in the big picture that is 2020, rats are the most common carriers of leptospirosis, a disease caused by a bacteria which is shed through their urine. Clinical signs of leptospirosis include fever, lethargy, vomiting, inappetence and jaundice. In its later stages, it causes renal and liver failure. It is usually fatal if not caught and treated in a timely manner, and can be transmitted from pets to humans. Thankfully, there is an annual vaccine which protects dogs from leptospirosis, so make sure your pet is up to date. While leptospirosis has been reported in cats, it is extremely rare, and far more common in dogs.

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