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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Animal shelter closes temporarily due to diseased dog

Animal shelter closes temporarily due to diseased dog

The Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter closed some of its services this week after a dog that had been kept there tested positive for a bacterial disease called leptospirosis.

Shelter Manager Hilary Knight said a dog came into the shelter on Sept. 8 and left 12 days later. During that time, the dog showed signs of liver failure that staff members attributed to heartworms, a much more common condition than leptospirosis in our area, Knight said.

A rescue group that had taken the dog discovered it had leptospirosis and notified the shelter Friday.

Knight said the shelter will be closed to the public until at least Thursday giving the staff time to determine if other animals have been infected with the disease, which is contagious to animals and humans and is primarily spread through urine, Knight said.

Knight said that in addition to continuing routine cleanings with bleach, the leptospirosis vaccine will be added to the list of vaccines current and incoming animals receive for the foreseeable future.

“We're expecting everything is going to be fine,” she said.

Leptospirosis symptoms in humans include fever, vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, rash and diarrhea. Symptoms for dogs are similar and also include refusal to eat and severe muscle pain.