Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial disease that is caused by an infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found in soil and water and are transmitted through contact with infected blood, urine, urine-contaminated soil, water, food or bedding of an infected animal. It not only can be transmitted to other animals, but people are at risk for contracting the disease also.


Signs of Leptospirosis can vary from dog to dog and are wide-ranged. Signs include:


Increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes). The disease can cause kidney failure with or without liver failure. Dogs may occasionally develop severe lung disease and show high respiratory rates (breath rates) and have difficulty breathing. Because all these signs can mimic many other illnesses, it is thought that Leptospirosis is under-diagnosed.


Treatment for Lepto consists of antibiotics and supportive care. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, an animal may require fluid therapy and nutritional support.


Ways to prevent your pet from leptospirosis are:


  • Avoid letting your pet drink water from streams, lakes, rivers, ponds or stagnant water.


  • Minimize your pets’ contact with wildlife, farm animals and carcasses.


  • Vaccinating your pet with a yearly vaccine. 


We are now carrying the Lepto vaccine. Make an appointment today and talk to us about whether your pet is a high risk for coming in contact with this preventable disease. 

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