Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans can pick up the bacteria from contact with the urine of an infected dog. The bacteria is a spiral shaped bacterium called a spirochete.
With spring right around the corner, the frozen ground will start to melt and the snow will turn into puddles which could be dangerous for you and your beloved dog. As puddles become stagnant and are visited by wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, mice, and rabbits a bacteria called leptospirosis can become present in the puddle. As you start to get more active with your dog and start going out onto the trails your dog is now at risk. Dogs are dogs and will play/drink in these puddles.
What is Leptospirosis?
Symptoms of Leptospirosis
-increased drinking and urination
-sudden fever and illness
Call your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of these signs; leptospirosis can be deadly — especially if it’s not caught early.
Leptospirosis signs can vary and often develop two to 12 days after exposure from bacteria. In some cases, dogs may have a range of less specific flu-like signs, including fever, muscle tenderness and depression. Because the organism settles in the kidneys and actually reproduces there, inflammation and even kidney failure can develop. Liver failure can be another consequence of infection. Treating for letpospirosis can be costly and your pet is not guaranteed a 100% recovery.
Prevention of Leptospirosis
In Veterinary medicine prevention is always the best medicine. If you can prevent your dog from drinking from stagnant water or swimming in bodies of water that could be contaminated would be the best prevention. Additionally, there is a vaccine available that can help protect your dog from leptospirosis. Talk to your veterinarian about whether it might be right for your pet.
It is important to realize that leptospirosis is in the area and there has been an increased number of cases in 2017. Prevention is the safest way to ensure that your pet will not get leptospirosis.