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Dear Friend of Pets Unlimited,

In recent months, there has been a troubling uptick in cases of Leptospirosis in our canine patients that live in San Francisco. This trend is especially alarming because we previously only saw this disease in dogs who had traveled beyond our bridges.  


What is Leptospirosis? 

Leptospirosis, or Lepto, is a bacteria that is passed from an infected animal through urine in water or soil. Bacteria can enter the body through mucous membranes (in the mouth, nose or eyes) or through cuts and scratches on the skin. Common carriers of the disease are rats, opossums, raccoons, deer and some livestock.


Dangers of Leptospirosis 

As a veterinarian, I worry about this disease because, in worst-case scenarios, it can become a serious, potentially life-threatening illness affecting the kidneys, liver, brain, lung and heart.  Besides your beloved dog, this disease can also affect people though we rarely see Lepto in cats. For more information on Leptospirosis in humans, please visit the CDC website. 


Clinical Signs of Leptospirosis 

Clinical signs of Leptospirosis vary and are nonspecific. They can range from no symptoms to fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to eat, severe weakness, and muscle pain.  If you think your pet may have Leptospirosis, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can perform tests to detect the presence of Leptospiral antibodies or organism in your pet.   


3 Simple Steps to Prevent Leptospirosis  

Dog Water Fountain
Dog water fountains, like the one pictured above, may collect standing water. 
Discourage your dog from drinking any standing water and bring your  
own bowl and water just in case!

You can help prevent Leptospirosis in your pet by following these simple guidelines:
  1. Keep rodent problems (rats, mice, or other animal pests) under control. Rodents can carry and spread the bacteria. 
  2. Discourage your dog from drinking from standing water of any type, particularly in parks, but even in your backyard.
  3. Get your pet vaccinated against Leptospirosis.  While not 100% preventative due to the many strains of Leptospirosis, it does provide good immunity to the more common stains. Please contact your primary veterinarian to discuss this vaccine.


Join us for a post-DOMA and  
Prop 8 Estate Planning Seminar

 Saturday, August 17 

10:00 a.m. to Noon
Pets Unlimited Board Room, 2nd Floor
2343 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Please join us as we welcome
Deb L. Kinney, a national leader on LGBT issues and local estate planning and tax attorney, for an interactive seminar.  She will discuss how recent cases and federal recognition can affect your legal, financial and tax planning in a post-DOMA and Prop 8 world.  Bring your questions and your partner. The discussion will include:
  • Marriage - is it right for you or if you are already married, what does federal recognition mean for you?
  • Which protections will travel with you and which are linked to your state of residence?
  • Income taxes - differences between domestic partners and married couples
  • Estate tax and portability for married spouses
  • And more... 

There is no charge for the seminar, but reservations are required. Contact Leah Prassinos at (415) 568-3052 or lprassinos@petsunlimited.org to provide your name and the number in party. 


This seminar is for educational purposes only.

No financial products will be promoted.

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