TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Many know that coming in contact with floodwaters can be dangerous for people but animal experts say it is just as dangerous for animals.
With high waters across the region many people are staying away from flooded areas. Animal experts say keeping your pets away from flooded areas is just as important..
"Like humans it's very similar dogs and cats can get the same kind of diseases that people can get" Dr. Michael Staub at Honey Creek Animal Hospital says.
Floodwaters can carry microscopic life that can cause disease in animals. Pets shouldn't drink floodwater or even puddles on pavement. Dr. Staub says pet owners need to be vigilant about what their pets are doing.
"You may have a dog that is used to rolling around in the woods or something like that and not aware that there is floodwaters and they run and they are running around in neck deep water and not expecting that so make sure the dog is somewhat controlled" Staub says.
Experts say these diseases can cause digestive problems and waters can even contract flesh-eating bacteria. What can pet owners do if their animal has accidentally come in contact with floodwater?
"Just wash them off with mildly soapy water just wash their feet off that kind of thing. They can get it on their fur water's going to get on their fur, if they are licking themselves or cleaning themselves they can ingest it that way" Staub says.
Dr. Staub says the flooding Indiana is receiving now will cause more animal issues this summer.
"If you have this much flooding you have mosquito's in the summer and that gets transmitted to the dogs and then you start getting heartworm disease and that affects the heart and lungs of the dogs" Staub says.
Experts say river water can contain anything from sewage to chemicals from nearby plants. Needless to say all living things, furry or otherwise, should avoid it.