Standing water can be deadly for your pets, but there are simple precautions

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - We've had a lot of rain lately and more could be on the way this week.
That means there's plenty of standing water around, and that can be a problem for your pets. One of the diseases that can be found in puddles is called Leptospirosis or Lepto for short.

Standing water can cause a number of different issues for your animals. For starters it's a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a number of parasites. However, there are simple ways to make sure your pet is protected.

Dr. Brooke West of West Toledo Animal Hospital says no matter how big or small the area, standing water can cause all kinds of problems for your pet, "There's a ton of protozoans and parasites that can be spread through there from the ground and other animals."

Dr. Steve Reece is the Medical Director at Anthony Wayne Animal Hospital. He''s treated a number of cases in his career, but that's become less common because of a vaccine, "This area is endemic for it, so we recognized the need to start vaccinating for it some 10 years ago. It is part of the distemper vaccine we give."

If your pet isn't vaccinated, Dr. West says risks are all around, "A dog just has to step in a puddle with it or drink the water and it spreads to mucus membranes. It causes liver and kidney failure, and it can be fatal. It is a bacterial disease that is spread through the urine of infected animals.It is also zoonotic, which means it can spread to humans."

When it comes to your pet, Dr. West says the reaction to the bacteria can range from mild to severe, "They can have yellowing to the eyes in the mucus membranes. They can be lethargic, drinking more and urinating more or not urinating at all."

Dr. Reece says if your dog is showing those symptoms you need to get them medical help quickly, "You can have a case where you have a little bit of a problem and in a few days the pet is hospitalized. Sometimes there's almost nothing you can do."

But Dr. Reece adds that the shot is a simple way to make sure that never happens to your pet, "It's virtually unheard of to see Leptospirosis in a pet that has been vaccinated."

As we mentioned, in addition to all the parasites and protozoans standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes spread a number of diseases, including heartworm. Heartworm medicine is another critical thing for your pets along with flea and tick prevention medicine.

Talk to your vet if you have questions about what's best for your pet when it comes to preventative medicine.