Leptospirosis: Deadly bacteria in Florida canals can kill your d - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Leptospirosis: Deadly bacteria in Florida canals can kill your dog

A deadly bacteria lurking in canals, lakes and standing water in Florida could attack your dog with little warning. Your pet could then transfer that disease to you.

Called leptospirosis, it spreads through wildlife, like raccoons or rats, that urinate into waterways. Their contaminated urine contains bacteria that can spread and grow in the water, or even in your backyard, according to Dr. Justin Kerr with Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral, Fla.

"It could have been a raccoon peed in your backyard two and a half weeks ago, and then your pet decides to go out and eat a little grass and comes up with a lestospirosis infection," said Kerr.

The infection can lead to liver and kidney failure, or even death, but Dr. Sharon Lomnicki with Chiquita Animal Hospital said you canprevent it by looking for these symptoms: 

"Vomiting, diarrhea, being tired, and not being interested in food," said Lomnicki.

If you notice those symptoms, Lomnicki said you should go to the doctor because you could have leptospirosis too.

"You really need to see your medical doctor, and let them know that your dog or your cat was diagnosed with leptospirosis."

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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