Health Update

August 8, 2021

We wanted to make everyone aware that we received information that there were confirmed cases of Leptospirosis in the Santa Monica area. We felt it was important to pass along what we know. Our first priority is always the health and safety of the dogs in our immediate Grateful Dogs family as well as our local community. While we have not received any evidence that Leptospirosis is currently present in our community, we wanted to share what we have learned.

What we know:

There have been confirmed Leptospirosis cases diagnosed in southern California beach communities. Leptospirosis is not typically found in southern California, but cases have recently been confirmed in local beach communities as well as the San Fernando Valley. It is currently believed that the affected dogs may have been exposed: At a boarding facility in Santa Monica, dogs’ parks or beaches.

 Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. Although uncommon, it is a zoonotic disease which means it is transmissible from animals to humans. The signs of leptospirosis in dogs vary. Some infected dogs show no signs, some have a mild case and recover quickly, while other cases can be more severe.

What we are doing: 

We have been in communication with several local veterinarians.  To their knowledge there have not been any suspected or confirmed cases in the South Bay. We are continuing to stay in contact and taking their advice so we can be as proactive as possible here.

In addition to our normal cleaning, sanitation and pressure washing routines, we are clearing each yard and thoroughly deep cleaning and disinfecting the yards daily.

What we have learned:

 How it spreads:

 Dogs can become infected if their mucous membranes (or skin with any wound, such as a cut or scrape) come into contact with infected urine, water, food or bedding, or through a bite from an infected animal.  

 Prevention:  

The Leptospirosis vaccine protects against this disease: The vaccine can be administered to canines as young as 8-9 weeks of age and does require a 2-4 week booster later, and then a subsequent annual vaccine.

 Veterinarians are now strongly recommend vaccinating your dog if he or she:

 – attends daycare or dog parks.

– spends time in a yard that is frequented by wildlife, including squirrels and racoons.

– visits the beach or swims in ocean.

– goes camping or hiking.

Signs of leptospirosis may include:

 – Fever

– Shivering

– Increased thirst

– Changes in the frequency or amount of urination

– Dehydration

– Vomiting

– Diarrhea

– Loss of appetite

– Lethargy.

 For additional information about Leptospirosis and a complete list of symptoms, please visit the AVMA website:

https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/leptospirosis

If you have further questions about you or your dog, we recommend reaching out to your veterinarian or health care professional directly.  Thanks for staying informed and helping to keep our four legged community healthy!