Inversion and Your Pets

Photo of UPVH family member Marlo and his mom enjoying inversion free air this week up Grandeur peak.

Photo of UPVH family member Marlo and his mom enjoying inversion free air this week up Grandeur peak.

Winter is here, and in Utah that means skiing (if we get any snow), cold weather, and everyone’s favorite, inversion. Here at Union Park Veterinary hospital we know how active our client base is in the outdoors. We just want to make sure that you and your furry family members know the risks and what to watch for.

Please check to make sure the air quality is okay for your pet to be outside and running around. If our air quality is anywhere but in the green zone please be cautious of taking your pet outside for any extended period of time, and if we are in the red zone at all we HIGHLY recommend NO EXERCISING OUTDOORS for them. The bad air not only effects us but our furry loved ones as well. As of now our air quality is as bad as Beijing, so please be careful.

Inversion and bad air quality effect all of us, but cats seem to be a little bit more susceptible to the dangers of it than the rest of us. Members of this species should have a closer eye kept on them for any signs of distress. Especially if your cat has asthma problems, is an older kitty, or has any type of respiratory illness or problems. If your cat happens to start open mouth breathing please get them in to see Dr. Doub and the rest of the Union Park Veterinary Hospital team immediately, as this is not a normal behavior for them.

Just because cats are a little more susceptible to the dangers of bad air quality does not mean it is okay for your dog to be out and exercising in the horrible air quality. We know these guys love being out and about but it is not healthy for their respiratory system and may cause some problems that could have been avoided. There are plenty of fun exercises and activities you can do indoors to keep them active and healthy, like teaching them new tricks, filling a Kong ball with their favorite treat, playing fetch up and down the stairs, and even tug of war.

Here at Union Park Veterinary hospital we want to make sure that you and your pet are staying healthy especially during this time of year. We highly recommend that you make sure your air filters are clean and that you have some sort of air purifier in your house to help when those toxins do end up entering the home.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the UPVH team at 385-414-2188 or at

Stay healthy and happy this winter!

Your Veterinary Technician,

Jayson and his dog Jax

Jayson and Jax

Lepto? What is it, and who needs it?


lepto dog in water
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira Bacteria. These bacteria can be found world wide in soil and water. Lepto is a zoonotic disease, which means it van be spread from animals to people. In the U.S. most cases are a result from recreational activities involving water. Infection from an infected pet is much less common, but possible.

Who is affected by Lepto?

Dogs are most commonly affected. Lepto in cats is very rare and appears to be mild although little is known about the disease in this species. Some very common risk factors include exposure to, or drinking from rivers lakes or streams; exposure to wild or farm animal species and contact with rodents or other dogs.

Dogs can become infected if they have a wound, and it comes into contact with infected urine, or contaminated soil, water, food or bedding. In rare cases it can be passed through the placenta from the mother dog to the puppies.

What are the symptoms of Lepto?

Symptoms of Lepto in dogs vary. Some infected dogs don’t show any signs of illness. Symptoms may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice, or painful inflammation within the eyes.

This disease can cause kidney failure and/or liver failure. Dogs can also develop sever lung disease and have difficulty breathing. It can also cause bleeding disorders which can lead to blood tinged vomit , urine, stool, or saliva; nosebleeds; and pinpoint red spots on gums and other mucous membranes or on light colored skin.

What is the treatment for Lepto?

Treatment involves antibiotics and supportive care. When treated early and aggressively, the chances of recovery are good but there is still a risk of permanent liver and kidney damage. Vaccines are available to help protect your dog for at least 12 months. Annual vaccinations are recommended for at-risk dogs. They do require a booster 3-4 weeks after initial vaccination has been given.

Who should recieve the Lepto vaccination?

Dogs that should receive the Lepto vaccination are any dog that comes in contact with water (paddle boarding, hunting dogs, hiking dogs, boating dogs).

Any dogs that are in close contact with rats or other wildlife vector species (20% of raccoons in Colorado tested POSITIVE for lepto).

Any dogs that have a water source in the backyard or apartment complex.

Dogs who frequent the Midwest, East Coast, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Montana, Idaho, etc. where lepto is EXTREMELY PREVALENT.

If you have any questions or concerns about Leptospirosis and if your dog could be at risk contact the UPVH team. 385-414-2188 or

We hope you are having an amazing start to winter, and hope you stay warm and safe throughout the season!


Jayson Nielsen, Veterinary Technician