Rats in Brooklyn Park, according to dog owners in the city, are transmitting disease to their pets.
A deadly canine sickness may be spreading in a Brooklyn neighborhood, and pet owners are blaming it on a rat-infested park in Williamsburg.
According to City Councilman Lincoln Restler, who represents sections of Brooklyn, at least four dogs have died following recent visits to McCarren Park, each with symptoms associated with leptospirosis, an infectious bacterial disease that can also affect humans.
Restler told the Daily News that they all spent time at the McCarren dog run. Rats may pee in a puddle, and dogs may lick the puddle, causing them to become ill. The good news is that both dogs and humans can be treatedRestler, like the city's Department of Health, refrained from announcing a leptospirosis outbreak. However, the Democrat has spent time on social media spreading information about symptoms, treatment, and immunization in an attempt to contain any potential spread — and worries.
Restler expressed his concern, saying, I'm incredibly concerned. To ensure that canines and the entire neighborhood are safe, we must address the rat infestation and underlying issues in this region right away.
A Blue-Merle French bulldog named Oreo, who had to be euthanized following a recent visit to the park, was among the dogs who died, as initially reported on the Greenpointers website.
The dog's owner wrote on Instagram that "a lot of you need to turn to your local vets and vaccinate your dogs ASAP."
He's been advocating for a community-wide effort to clean up the park.
Meanwhile, according to Michael Lanza, a spokesperson for the city's health department, no cases of canine leptospirosis have been linked to McCarren Park.
We're working with NYC Parks to inspect the area for rat activity, Lanza explained. Dog owners who are worried should speak with their veterinarian about immunization and get medical attention for their dog as soon as possible if it becomes unwell. We strongly encourage veterinarians who receive positive leptospirosis test results to notify them to the Health Department, as required by the NYC Health Code.
Veterinarians emphasize that pet owners can avoid contracting leptospirosis by keeping their homes free of rats and preventing their dogs from coming into direct touch with mice and small mammals when they are outside.
Pet owners should avoid allowing their pets to drink from puddles or other sources of water that may contain animal urine.
The matter has also been monitored by the city's Parks Department.We want our four-legged companions to be happy and healthy, so we're disappointed to find that some of them may have been exposed to leptospirosis recently, according to Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard. We're working closely with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and we're looking into ways to reduce any potential dangers.
While McCarren Park does not have a formal dog run, dog owners have been utilizing it as a temporary facility for their pets.
Each year, the Health Department investigates about two human and 15 dog leptospirosis cases, according to officials. The bacteria that causes leptospirosis can be carried by a variety of animals. Symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting, muscle pains, and diarrhea.