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Leptospirosis – Diagnosis & Treatment

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that affects both dogs and humans. It is commonly transmitted through bacteria found in the urine of infected animals such as rodents and livestock. The bacteria enter through skin (especially if it is cut or scratched), eyes, nose, or mouth and spread throughout the entire body. Infection takes anywhere from 2-20 days and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Outbreaks increase during periods of heavy rainfall when the bacteria can thrive in still water such as puddles.

How can I prevent leptospirosis?

Infection most often occurs through contact with contaminated urine or other body fluids, water, or soil. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink from stagnant water such as puddles when outdoors. If your dog is going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, make sure to bring fresh water for your dog. Also, prevent your dog from chasing and retrieving wildlife that could potentially be infected.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Tiredness/lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Yellowed eyes or skin
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea

 

How can I treat it leptospirosis?

Fortunately, there is a leptospirosis vaccine. Please contact our office to find out more information about getting your dog vaccinated. Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics but prompt medical attention is necessary. If you think your dog may have leptospirosis, be sure to use protection when coming in contact with any body fluids and seek immediate medical attention.