Leptospirosis

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)