Rain leaves behind health hazards in Ark-La-Tex - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Rain leaves behind health hazards in Ark-La-Tex

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

"When it goes into that gutter over there, or in your street and it goes into your ditch and into the bayou and into the river, it's not treated water. It is the largest source of pollution in the United States" Rodney Mallett, with the Department of Environmental Quality, says. Those big puddles may look like a playground to your kids, but it's what you can't see beneath the surface that may make you want them to stay dry. "Pesticides, oil and gas, bacteria, it's going to move and it's going to go where it flows and that's the ditch and the bayou and you need to be careful of those kind of things" Mallett says.

Along with chemicals from the roads, heavy rain can also back up septic tanks and affect the sewer systems in old buildings. There are easy ways to keep playing in rain from becoming a health hazard. Be sure to wear proper rain gear, make sure no open wounds are exposed, and wash up after being outside.

Standing water is also a threat to our four legged friends, so if you notice your pet is sick after a storm, local veterinarians say it's important to get them checked out just in case. "Leptospirosis unfortunately is a very deadly disease. It affects the kidneys specifically and causes kidney failure in dogs and people. It's spread by things like raccoons, skunks, mice that are urinating in standing water. If the dog were to drink that standing water, it would definitely an issue" Dr. April Mackey, with Towne South Animal Hospital, says. Leptospirosis is not the most common danger to worry about with our pets. "Watch for things like vomiting, diarrhea, you know, your bacterial overload, things like that from gastritis from drinking the yucky water" Mackey says.

Doctor April Mackey says, especially in the Ark-La-Tex, and after heavy rains, we have to think about heartworms. "Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and mosquitoes love to make babies in standing water. With all the rain that we've had that's going to definitely going to be problematic" Mackey says. When in doubt, just visit your vet to make sure your pet hasn't lapped up any of this potentially toxic mix. "If your dog just isn't doing right, come see your vet" Mackey says.

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