Leptospirosis

This is a serious bacterial disease in dogs which can be passed to humans and has become a concern for pet owners and veterinarians in the United States. This is due to the increase in the growing populations of wildlife (ie skunks and raccoons) which carry the disease. Lepto can infect dogs without even coming into contact with this wildlife because the bacteria also live in warm, humid areas and is often found in stagnant water (ponds). Dogs can become infected by exposure from ingesting this water, by contact and by mucous membranes or broken skin. Other potential exposure can be from bite wounds and ingestion of an infected animal and exposure to the urine of an infected animal.

Lepto, if left untreated, will attack a dog's liver and kidneys and can lead to organ damage or failure. If an animal contracts the disease and it is caught early, Lepto is very responsive to antibiotic treatments but of course, preventative measures, such as vaccination, is the better way to go.

Symptoms of Lepto in Dogs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Diarrhea/vomiting
  • Blood in the urine
  • Weakness
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Yellowing of the gums, membranes around the eye, and skin
Vaccination Schedule
  • Always consult your veterinarian regarding your pet's need but suggested guidelines are:
  • Puppies – initial vaccine at 12 weeks of age and repeat 2 to 4 weeks later
  • Puppies over 4 months old or adults with first time vaccination – 2 doses 2 to 4 weeks apart
  • Annual re-vaccination
  • Dogs with high risk exposure – vaccinate every 6 to 9 months throughout the period of their exposure
Although the vaccine is not 100% effective and doesn't protect against all types of Lepto, the vaccine is highly recommended to reduce the possibility of exposure to this disease.