Deadly danger to dogs

July 3, 2009 2:54:59 PM PDT
Up until last week, 6-year-old Parker was about as playful as any dog could be, but then his owner, Aaron Goodman, noticed a change. "Started throwing up. A bit lethargic. Energy levels were down. Ears were flat. Tail was between his legs," Goodman explained.

He took Parker to the vet, who started him on amoxicillin. Parker recently played at Cooper Park in Williamsburg where this past month of heavy rain has left plenty of standing water.

Within the next two days, Parker's condition was worsening and Goodman brought him to the hospital. Only one day after that came the news Goodman simply couldn't believe.

"I think the hardest part about it was, not only did he die so young, but also it was just so sudden and it was so unexpected," he said.

Doctors tell him that parker had something called Leptospirosis. It's a bacterial infection that dogs can get from open cuts or from drinking water in a park that may have rodents.

"What'll happen is the urine will get into the water or food sources outside, and often times, animals will eat it," Dr. Keith Manning of East Side Animal Hospital said.

Leptospirosis can also make humans sick, but it is rare. There are only a couple of confirmed cases each year in the city and, to die from it is even more rare.

The bottom line is always give your dog clean water at the park. Doctors say there is a vaccine for Leptospirosis.

Parker is the second dog in just the past couple of weeks in Williamsburg who may have died from the infection.

In Parker's case, it is a tragedy that his owner never saw coming.

"It's just an immediate loss and there's a hole in my heart that I hope fills up," Goodman said.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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