Florida veterinarians seeing spike in potentially deadly disease

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SARASOTA-- Veterinarians across the state are blaming our wet weather on a recent spike of the bacterial disease known as Leptospirosis.

Animals and humans can come down with the bacterial disease after being exposed to any body of water containing animal urine.

"The dog will be curious, by sniffing and licking. It can pass through cuts in skin or ingesting it, which dogs do," said Dr. Dave Smith, a veterinarian with Sarasota Veterinary Center.

Veterinarians say last summer's rainfall has created a spike in the number of cases in K-9's.

"All that rain flows somewhere. It picks up the urine anywhere an animal has been and can flow in your yard. Then your dog picks it up," said Smith.

If exposed, dogs will first experience flu-like symptoms, followed by liver and kidney failure, and even death. If discovered early, Smith says it's easy to treat.

In order to prevent your dog from getting the illness, be sure to have them vaccinated once a year. The vaccines usually cost around $25.