Leptospirosis bacteria spread to dogs throughout Arizona

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Since February of last year, more than 70 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed in Maricopa County.  (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Since February of last year, more than 70 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed in Maricopa County. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Arizona Animal Welfare League and many veterinarians are now carrying the two-part vaccine. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Arizona Animal Welfare League and many veterinarians are now carrying the two-part vaccine. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Since February of last year, more than 70 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed in Maricopa County. Now, it is on the move and we have learned of new cases in Show Low and Tucson.

"If your animal does contract leptospirosis, it can be months and months of treatment, and it can painful, and it can be very expensive," said Michael Morefield of the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

Morefield said luckily, they haven't seen the bacterial disease at their shelter, but it is spreading.

[RELATED: More than 40 Valley dogs diagnosed with rare leptospirosis bacteria]

"For Arizona to have leptospirosis, it is very rare," Morefield said.

He said symptoms can be tricky because they are often signs of other illnesses. 

"If you’re noticing lethargy or extreme dehydration or swelling, take your dog to the vet," he said. "Even if it's not leptospirosis, it could be a sign of something else."

Their clinic and many veterinarians are now carrying the two-part vaccine. Morefield has some advice if you're going to board your pet this summer.

"Boarding facilities won't require that a dog is vaccinated for leptospirosis, so it’s a good idea for you, but please make sure they require all standard vaccines," he said.

While the disease can be passed onto humans, the Arizona Department of Heath Services said no cases have been reported to them this year.

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