What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis, or lepto, is a deadly bacterial disease spread by wildlife and domestic animals.
- Lepto is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be passed from animals to people.
- Lepto has been diagnosed in all types of dogs. All breed and sizes of dogs are at risk.
- Common lepto carriers include raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, rats and other dogs. Livestock can also carry the disease.
- Lepto bacteria can survive for long periods in water.
- The number of canine leptospirosis cases has risen dramatically in recent years. Today, lepto is the #1 cause of acute kidney failure in dogs.
- Early recognition of leptospirosis is important for a full recovery.
How is my dog exposed?
Lepto bacteria are shed in urine. Dogs become infected when they come into contact with urine from infected animals.
- Infection occurs when dogs wade through or drink from contaminated water sources.
- The bacteria can enter through a cut in the skin or mucous membranes, such as the eye, nose or mouth.
Is your dog at risk?
Because lepto carriers reside in many locations, dogs living in urban, suburban and rural areas can be at risk.
- Does your dog go outdoors?
- Does your dog drink from or wade in standing water?
- Is your dog exposed to areas where wildlife has been?
- Do you take your dog to dog parks or daycare?
- Do you live in a newly developed area or near farmland or woods?
- Has lepto been diagnosed in your area in dogs or people?
Take Steps to Protect
Every dog that ventures outdoors is at risk for lepto. Take steps now to protect your pet.
- Remove food, garbage and nesting material from your yard to minimize wildlife activity.
- Discourage your dog from drinking standing water.
- Most importantly, ask us about protection with the Lepto vaccine.
(Courtesy Fort Dodge LeptoVax Pamphlet)
The rabies virus represents a serious risk to people and their pets – with hundreds of cases in pets each year in the United States alone. All it takes to contract this deadly disease is exposure to an infected animal through a scratch, cut or bite.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do. A simple vaccination is the best way to help protect your pet against rabies. Even if you keep your pet indoors, it should still be vaccinated — and it’s require by law!
What is rabies?
Rabies is an acute viral infection that can affect all warm-blooded animals – including dogs and cats. The disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva. Younger animals are usually more susceptible to rabies infection. And it’s always fatal once clinic signs appears.
What if my pet has possible been exposed?
If your pet has been bitten by or exposed to a wild or potentially rabid animal, speak with us immediately and report it to local animal control authorities. Even if your pet has a current vaccine, you should still contact us.
Signs and Prevention
Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves to the brain. It can take a matter of days, weeks or months for your pet to show signs of the rabies virus.
Infected animals often show anxiety, aggression, restlessness and erratic behavior. They also may develop weakness, poor coordination or tremors. Wild rabid animals commonly lose their fear of humans. Species that are normally nocturnal may be seen wandering about during the day.
Dogs, cats or ferrets that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanized or placed in strict isolation for six months.
Vaccinate to Protect Your Pet
We are committed to helping you make the best choices for your pet’s health. To give your pet the protection it needs, we recommend vaccination with the IMRAB rabies vaccine.
What Else Can You Do?
- Don’t leave garbage or pet food outdoors.
- Observe all wild or stray animals.
- If you see a wild animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control authorities.
(Information courtesy of Merial)