Pima County officials have issued a pet safety reminder, after another dog has tested positive for the bacterial disease, leptospirosis.

The case was identified after Pima County health and animal care officials received notification from a local veterinarian, according to a news release from the Pima County Health Department.

Although the dog has fully recovered from the illness, it was not vaccinated before being exposed to leptospirosis.

“We’ve seen leptospirosis outbreaks in other cities that have caused 50 to 70 infections at a time,” said Pima County Animal Care Center Director Kristen Auerbach. “We want to encourage the community to help us take simple steps to prevent the disease here.”

Animal Care officials say that following a few simple steps can help prevent pets from getting and spreading illnesses like leptospirosis:

  • Make sure your dog’s vaccines are current before visiting a dog park or boarding facility.
  • If your dog seems sick, keep it out of the dog park or boarding facility.
  • Do not let dogs drink from communal water bowls or puddles.
  • If your dog shows signs of illness or abnormal behavior, immediately take it to the vet.
  • Do not touch or let your dog interact with dogs that appear to be ill.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation officials will also be posting signs at dog parks reminding owners to vaccinate pets and practice safe play while at the park. Officials will be providing reminders about preventing infectious disease to pet-boarding and healthcare providers.

“Vaccination is one of the most important things a pet owner can do to protect their four-legged family members,” said Auerbach. “The cost of treating an illness and the distress placed on your pet when they are ill is much more than the cost of keeping a vaccination up to date.”

In June, county officials warned pet owners to avoid the dog park at Udall Park after a dog that was a frequent visitor was diagnosed with leptospirosis.

At that time, officials with the Arizona Department of Agriculture had confirmed eight cases of the disease. Pima County has recorded three.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlinschmidt

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