Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Leptospirosis Affecting Many Sea Lions on Oregon Coast: Watch Your Dogs

Published 10/27/22 at 6:03 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Leptospirosis Affecting Many Sea Lions on Oregon Coast: Watch Your Dogs

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Newport, Oregon) – Another run of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) infected with a somewhat contagious disease is hitting the Oregon coast, according to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Leptospirosis, a contagious bacterial infection of the kidneys, is making its appearance again, and Oregon coast officials say it is of concern to people with pets on the beach. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection: a resting sea lion at Lincoln City in 2012)

Sea lions infected with the disease often appear lethargic and unable to move their hind limbs. Those ill often appear to have significant weight loss and even pneumonia.

Unfortunately, the disease is transmissible to humans and dogs.

Leptospirosis Affecting Many Sea Lions on Oregon Coast: Watch Your Dogs
(Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection: a resting sea lion at Lincoln City in 2012)

“We strongly advise people to keep themselves and their pets well clear of sea lions on the beach,” the Hatfield said in an alert on its website.

The disease is making an impression on the Oregon coast, as it did in 2017 and another, sizably larger event in 2010.

Jim Rice, with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network out of the Hatfield, told Oregon Coast Beach Connection some 150 sick or already-dead sea lions have washed up along the entire Oregon coastline, from Brookings to Warrenton.

“Sick sea lions with signs of leptospirosis (extreme lethargy, emaciation, and reluctance to use their hind flippers) started showing up in late July along the south and central coasts,” Rice said. “Of those, Oregon State University has done necropsies on 7 carcasses, and all of those have been positive for leptospirosis.”

If you take your dog to to the Oregon coast, keep them far from any sea lion, whether dead or alive.

Rice told Oregon Coast Beach Connection little is known about why the disease occurs.

“Outbreaks of leptospirosis in California sea lions occur every several years but we still don’t know exactly why that happens,” he said. “There's a group at UCLA that's looking at it in detail.”

That research group – the Leptospirosis Research Laboratory - has said it can come down to herd immunity, sea surface temperatures and sea lion patterns.

Rice said it appears as if the “leptospira bacteria continuously reside in the sea lion population,” and they periodically shed the organism in some way, thus starting a run of infections.

It is a violation of federal and state laws to harass, disturb, touch, or feed marine mammals. Report violations to the Oregon State Police (800) 452-7888.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW






Booking.com






Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium


Gold Beach, courtesy Gold Beach Visitors Center

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

N. Oregon Coast's Hug Point Has Its Ancient, Millions-of-Years-Old Secrets
Just a few short miles of Cannon Beach you'll bump into Hug Point. Geology, marine sciences, history

Sci-Fi Connections to Oregon Coast Includes Star Trek, LOST, Stargate, 65
A varied and surprising list from Brookings to Astoria. Sciences

Leech Lane Access and Beyond the Arch at N. Oregon Coast's Arch Cape
Near Cannon Beach there's the arch, remnants of other arches and danger

Southern Resident Orcas Off Oregon Coast Designated as Endangered Under State...
Only 76 of this type of killer whale left in the region. Marine sciences

Dune Novels, Movies Began with Frank Herbert's Visit to Oregon Coast Dunes, F...
Dune: Part Two has roots in Frank Herbert's research in the National Dunes Rec Area

N. Oregon Coast's UnWined Event is Tasty Preview to Astoria's Crab, Seafood a...
UnWined takes place on March 16 at Astoria's Liberty Theater. Astoria events

Quiet Yet Hot Little U.S. Travel Destination: Rockaway Beach on N. Oregon Coast
Now, it's still seven miles of captivating beaches, often full of solitude

What Not to Do on Oregon Coast: Small Beaches During Big Tides, Video
Just about every year it happens somewhere along Oregon's coast. Weather, beach safety


Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted