Via Kent Online: Kent dog owners warned of deadly disease as stagnant water from flooding raises risk of leptospirosis. Excerpt:
Dog owners are being warned of a potentially fatal infection dogs could pick up from flooded areas of Kent.
A Maidstone veterinary hospital has experienced a surge in concerned owners over the past two months since heavy rain left many parts of the county under water.
Leptospirosis is an infection that can cause fatal diseases in dogs - picked up by bacteria, particularly in stagnant water - and can also be transmitted to people.
Nigel Davies, from Newnham Court Veterinary Hospital, said: "The main concern is bacterium called leptospirosis, which causes fatal diseases in dogs and it can be transmitted to people.
"The big problem is that it's a bacterium which normally dies in winter when it's cold.
"But when you have lots of stagnant water lying about, the bacteria can last and it can live quite a long time." He added: "In conditions of flooding like this, the rodent population is displaced and the main factor of the bacterium is rodents, rats and small wildlife rodents."
Mr Davies said staff in Bearsted Road are receiving at least three queries a day from worried pet owners about how to protect their dogs from contaminated water.