Health Risks From Pet Wee On Carpets
Health Risks from Pet Wee on Carpets
All pets have small accidents now and again, especially when they are young, or new to your family, so cleaning the carpet effectively is vital to protect family members and vulnerable visitors from bacteria.
The most dangerous of these is called Leptospirosis and is a bacterium found in the urine of infected animals like dogs, as well as rodents such as mice, rats, and squirrels. Transmission of this bacteria to humans is via any direct or indirect contact with the contaminated urine. This particular bacteria can survive in water or soil or in carpet fibres for many weeks. If your cat or dog treads in any infected urine in the garden or the park, then it could also be trodden into your home and your carpets.
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Symptoms of Infection:
Symptoms of Leptospirosis can include fever, vomiting, chills, and a rash that can lead to kidney failure if untreated. It’s completely treatable with an antibiotic like doxycycline or Penicillin.
Preventing Your Pet Becoming Infected
Always keep up with your pet’s vaccinations. This infection can be prevented by vaccinating your dog on time every year, and by not letting any brand-new puppies out into the garden until they have had their first injections.
It is also wise to take an active management approach to keeping rats and mice out of your house and (as far as possible) your garden. If you live in a rural area, then keeping lids on rubbish bins and picking up any food litter can deter rats and mice from coming too near the house.
Government Guidance & Help Lines
The Government website has sensible guidance on this: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/leptospirosis
NHS Choices has further information on leptospirosis, including symptoms and treatment. The National Leptospirosis Service (NLS) is the national laboratory reference centre for the diagnosis of leptospirosis.
The Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory (RIPL) is a specialist centre for advice and diagnosis for a wide range of unusual viral and bacterial infections including leptospirosis.
PHE has completed a pilot enhanced surveillance study (see protocol aimed at improving our understanding of leptospirosis in the UK to enable further development of guidance and policy. The pilot survey was closed at the end of December 2017 and is being evaluated to decide long term surveillance.