To keep our dogs safe from leptospirosis, it is important
1. to have your dog vaccinated, and
2. to keep the rodents away.
There are many strains or types of leptospires, the bacteria that causes leptospirosis, thus it is important to have your dog vaccinated yearly. It is also important to prevent owners and others from being infected.
Leptospires can be transmitted from pets to humans through direct or indirect contact with contaminated animal tissues, organs, or urine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
It adds that the leptospires may still be in the urine for as long as three months after infection due to lack of adequate care or treatment.
To prevent infection:
1. Avoid handling urine, blood, or tissues from an infected pet.
2. If you have to handle animal tissues or urine, wear gloves and boots.
3. Always wash your hands after handling your pet or anything that might have your pet’s excrement on it.
4. Use antibacterial cleaning solution to clean surfaces like the matting of cages.
5. Please follow the medical treatment prescribed by your vet.
To prevent rodent infestation:
1. Seal all holes inside and outside the home to prevent rats, mice, and cockroaches from entering your place.
Mice and rats can easily squeeze through these holes.
Look for gaps or holes inside your house under, inside and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves.
Also look inside closets near the corners, around doors, pipes under sinks and washing machines, pipes going to hot water heaters, around floor vents and dryer vents, in the attic, basement, laundry room floor drains and between floor and wall juncture.
Look for gaps and holes outside your house in the roof, around windows, doors, the foundation, attic vents and crawl space vents, under doors, and around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines.
Here are some tips:
a. Fill small holes with steel wool. Put a sealant around the steel wool to keep it in place.
b. Use cement, lath screen or lath metal, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix large holes.
c. Do flashing around the base of the house by using pieces of metal to cover angles and edges.
Do the same for structures outside the house and garages.
(Note: Hardware stores have these materials.).
2. Trap rodents
The CDCP advises: “Choose an appropriate snap trap. Traps for catching mice are different from those for catching rats. Carefully read the instructions before setting the trap.”
From the CDCP:
• Put a small amount of peanut butter (about the size of a pea) on the bait pan of the snap trap.
• Put the bait end of the trap next to the wall to form a "T" with the wall. Rodents run next to walls or other objects for safety and do not like being out in the open.
• In areas where humans seldom go, put the trap where there is evidence of frequent rodent activity.
• Rats are cautious and will approach the trap after several days. Mice are less cautious and may be trapped quickly.
• GLUE TRAPS OR LIVE TRAPS NOT RECOMMENDED. The trap may scare the mice and make it urinate when caught . As their urine may contain germs, this will increase your risk of being exposed to diseases.
• Place traps in structures outside the house and areas where rodents have been seen.
3. Clean up
Make sure your place is always clean.
To remove rodent food sources:
• Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
• Clean up spilled food immediately and do not leave unwashed dishes and cooking utensils on the kitchen counter.
• Keep cooking areas and grills outside your house very clean.
• Throw away uneaten pet food right away and do not leave pet food or water bowls overnight.
• Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid.
• Compost bins should be 100 feet or more away from the house.
• Grains and animal feed should be kept in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.
• Throw the trash every night or put outside the house, also inside a thick plastic or metal container with a tight lid. Clean the garbage bins frequently with soap and water.
• Remove possible nesting sites outside the home. Elevate garbage cans at least one foot off the ground. Throw old tires, old furniture, all junk. Cut the grass and shrubs too.
I hope these tips will help you. Have a great Sunday. Namaste!
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