Leptospirosis is a deadly bacterial infection, with symptoms that can range from nothing at all to signs of organ failure.
If you're worried about your pet's risk of contracting this disease, or if you think your pet may already have it, you'll want to bring your pet in for an examination. Our veterinarians can provide preventative care or treatment to help preserve your pet's health.
Causes and Symptoms of Leptospirosis
The form of bacteria known as Leptospira thrives in water and warm temperatures, but it can endure other climates as well. This bacteria can invade the body of any animal, notably dogs (it is less common in cats). It can also spread from pets to humans. Dogs tend to pick up this bacteria from the skin or mucous membrane contact with water, bedding, soil, or other substances which have been in contact with the urine of an infected animal. It can also be spread through bites or even passed from mother to baby.
The disease caused by the Leptospira bacteria, leptospirosis, can be very unpredictable in its symptoms. Some animals may show no symptoms whatsoever, while others may appear mildly ill. Trouble signs include:
- Changes in thirst and/or urinary habits
- Loss of energy or appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle pain/stiffness
- Bleeding disorders
- Fluid accumulation in the limbs or abdomen
- A severe case of leptospirosis can lead to kidney or liver failure and death.
Treatment and Prevention Options at Boyd Lake Veterinary Center
Leptospirosis not only poses a danger to your pet, but it can also indirectly threaten your human family members since it's possible for dogs to transmit the disease to humans. If your pet is showing the telltale symptoms, bring him to one of our veterinarians right away for evaluation and treatment. The earlier our veterinarian can administer antibiotics and supportive treatments, the more easily we can restore your pet to health.
But, there's an even easier way to keep the threat of leptospirosis at bay -- prevention. We can vaccinate puppies against leptospirosis beginning at the age of 12 weeks. We can also advise you on safety practices such as keeping pets away from wildlife areas and bodies of water where infected animals may have urinated.
Our team at Boyd Lake Veterinary Center can help you protect your best friend against the dangers of leptospirosis and other germs.