Articles: rats

Rat City

Is the Windy City about to be re-named the Rat City? It turns out the number of complaints regarding rats has increased 30 percent between November 2016 and February of 2017 compared to one year ago. This problem isn’t benign, ad the instances of leptospirosis (a bacterial infection transmitted by rats) is on the rise in…

Leptospirosis Around America

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread primarily through the urine of rodents, has been the cause of death for several dogs in New Jersey and a resident of the Bronx in New York City. The uptick in lepto diagnoses and deaths has pet owners and veterinary professionals concerned.  The Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Paramus, New…

Leptospirosis Test is a SNAP

Of course, it makes sense these days that when dogs not vaccinated for leptospirosis show signs of fever, lethargy, and anorexia, the culprit may be the dreaded bacterial infection also called “lepto.” Diagnosis of the disease is important, because leptospirosis can be deadly. Last year, few had heard of leptospirosis. Now, the disease, which can spread to humans…

Leptospirosis an Increasing Problem

What’s going on with leptospirosis? The bacterial infection, which can be deadly to dogs and even humans, is spreading around the country. In urban areas, the bacteria is primarily spread by rats, but other critters are quite efficient about carrying the illness, including other rodent species as well as raccoon, skunk, and opossum. Unvaccinated dogs spread…

Pet Snakes, Lizards, Birds, Rats: All Unlikely Companions

Dr. Laurie Hess, author of “Unlikely Companions: The Adventures of an Exotic Animal Doctor (Or, What Friends Feathered, Furred and Scaled Have Taught Me About Life and Love)” and Deb Krohn, AKC “the frog lady” from the Chicago Herpetological Society talk with me HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio about loving pet birds,…

Do Pets Have Emotions?

Dr. Jaak Panksepp has confirmed with science what pet owners have known for hundreds and likely thousands of years….our pets have emotions. I was honored to sit down to talk with Panksepp, who was the Key Note Speaker at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists Veterinary Behavior Symposium, held this past year in San Antonio, TX in…

Is PeTA Crazy? Protecting City Rats?

Has PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) lost their minds?  According to a DNA Info story, PeTA is all upset about Chicago’s most recent effort to control rat population. In fact, at least according to the DNA piece, PeTA feels rats deserve protection. Well, they’re not exactly an endangered species. Years ago (I…

Oh Rats! Pick up After Your Dog

When Chicago Alderman Carol Rameriz-Rosa (35th ward) suggested property owners shuld be fined for not picking up dog poop on their own property. He and Mayor Rahm Emanuel suggested that the proposed ordinance would also help to control rats. I instantly wrote that while most certainly endorse people scooping, that the assertion just isn’t true.…

Rats Don't Like Dog Poop

Give a rat a choice, and that rat will NEVER eat dog poop. That’s the fact. Ald. Rameriz-Rosa and the Mayor want to make it a crime ($50 to $500 fine) for people who do not pick up in their own backyards. I phoned Alderman Rameriz-Rosa’s office and was told “You’d know when to fine…

Snakes Rule in a Chicago Neighborhood

Whatever happened to that old adage, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of  their appointed rounds.” In Rogers Park, an urban north side Chicago neighborhood, there’s what some are calling an infestation of garter snakes. And some postal carriers are refusing to deliver the mail…

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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