An article in the West Seattle blog today warned dog owners of a deadly disease called leptospirosis. If you don't follow the link to read the full article, at least read this part: "Dogs usually contract the disease by coming in contact with rat urine, which can be found in still water such as a backyard rain puddle. In both cases the dogs threw up; then appeared to recover; then later became ill a second time. One of the dogs had killed a rat; the other dog is believed to have come in contact with rat urine in the yard. This disease can fool you. It first appears as a simple, 24-hour ‘doggie flu,’ after which the dog appears to be normal and well while the disease works in the background. Then the dog becomes ill a second time — in my dog’s case, about a week later. At that point he went from seemingly healthy to irrecoverable in just over a day.”
There is a vaccination for lepto, but it is a "recommended" vaccination at most vets, and not required as a part of the normal vaccination series by most dog walkers, doggy day cares, boarding facilities, etc.... My vet encouraged me to get it for my dogs - he said he had lost two clients in the past year to this disease and that was all it took for me!
Vaccinated or not, it is good to be aware of this disease as it sounds like there isn't much warning!