How Rats Can Share Leptospirosis and Benefits to Pets of Being Quarantined


Dr. Natalie Marks

Listen HERE to Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio, and Dr. Natalie Marks offers her perspective on how veterinary medicine has changed for better or worse as a result of the pandemic. And how clients are relieving some of their pressures, with veterinary professionals sometimes at the other end of those emotions. And how everyone is simply struggling to do their best. And maybe now, as much, or more than ever veterinarians are playing the role of human psychologist.  People are, it seems, much more to be free with their speech – sometimes very kind words, sometimes not.

Dr. Marks also discusses how the CDC has indicated that with so many restaurants closed or having limited hours, dumpster diving doesn’t offer rats with many choices. So, hungry rats are out and about more often during the day.

Rats are primary carrier of leptospirosis – a bacterial disease which can make dogs or people very sick. Lepto is spread via urine, which may may be from a pond to even Lake Michigan to a puddle in an alley. Not only can dogs get sick by drinking from the pond to the lake to a puddle, but Dr. Marks describes how even stepping in this water may be a problem. The good news is that with vaccination we can protect our dogs, and therefore more likely protect all of us.

It’s the big reveal: Dr. Marks shares which dog breed is most likely to have leptospirosis.

Banfield Survey: Pets in Quarantine

Dr. Molly McAllister

HEAR Dr. Molly McAllister, chief medical officer Banfield the Pet Hospital and Board Member Human Animal Bond Association on Steve Dale’s Pet World talk about a new survey from Banfield which demonstrates how vital the human animal bond is, and what’s happening as a result of the pandemic and lots of more time with companion animals.

For example, 73 percent of people are concerned about going back to the office and spending time away from their pets (humans having separation anxiety away from their pets), with 59 percent worried their dog or cat may suffer from separation anxiety once their new work schedule begins. If they go back to the office, around 20 percent of people will adjust their new schedules so their pets aren’t home alone too often.

The survey showed that after being quarantined with their pets, and spending more time with them has made a difference, now feeling they understand them better.  A third of survey respondents feel more attuned to their dog or cat now than before the pandemic. Exactly a third of of people feel more attuned to their dog or cat compared to before when the pandemic began. Over a third (38 percent) of owners believe their pets appear to be happier  and more playful (35 percent) during this time. Pets are also receiving extra TLC” with 65 percent of owners showing them increased affection. They might be getting extra treats as well, as 33 percent of owners say their pet has gained weight during quarantine. Unknown is how many owners have gained weight.

More results of the Banfield survey are here.

More Rats

Training Giant Gambian Pouched Rats to find land mines.