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Local dog owner shares her dog's battle with Leptospirosis

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 21:15:27-04

The Pima County Health Department and Pima Animal Care Center confirmed seven dogs in Pima County have Leptospirosis-- a deadly bacterial disease that affects a dog's liver and kidneys. 

Jen Richardson's dog Bonnie was the latest dog to contract the disease.

Richardson says she comes twice a day to see her dog after she was admitted at Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson over a week ago. 

"The first five days she was here it was very you know... I mean honestly I thought she was going to die so you know before I was just laying in her kennel wondering what I was going to do," said Richardson. "She is only two years old you know, but the doctors kept saying don't give up hope."

She says she noticed something was wrong when her dog was drinking an excess amount of water and then throwing it up. Health officials say these are signs of the disease.  

"She was just laying here groaning and she was so bloated from the fluids," Richardson explained. "I think the first time she ate was six days after she was admitted." 

She believes her dog caught it from going to Udall Park every day and drinking from the water bucket. 

Veterinary Specialty Center's Dr. Sallianne Schlacks says we are seeing an increase of case numbers the county. 

She says dogs can get it from contaminated water sources and advises pet owners to get their dog vaccinated if they are near other dogs.

Richardson wants other pet owners to know that the vaccine for Lepto is not part of the required boosters and an owner has to ask their vet for it. 

She hopes city workers will start cleaning and sterilizing dog parks to reduce the risk of dogs spreading diseases.