A vaccine for doggy puddle drinkers

"This was a random encounter" at Bay Beach "This was a random encounter" at Bay Beach in Smithtown on a hot, late summer day, Tom Reese says. "I observed this dog running, jumping, splashing and frolicking in the water with his family nearby." (Newsday / Sept. 22, 2011)

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Marc Morrone Newsday columnist Marc Morrone

Marc Morrone was born in 1960 in the Bronx and, when he was 2, his family moved to

Last week I answered a letter from a reader whose dog enjoyed drinking out of puddles. A few vets read this and contacted me suggesting that if you have a dog that drinks from puddles, you should get it vaccinated for leptospirosis.

This organism is found in the urine of possums and raccoons and, if they have waded through or drunk from an outdoor puddle, then most likely they also urinated in it. If your dog even tastes the water from that puddle, it can pick up the disease.

The vaccine works very well and, if you have any questions, you should take up the matter with your vet.

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