What Is Leptospirosis?

What Is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a disease that affects animals and can be contracted to humans. It is caused by several types of bacteria that lives in standing water, damp areas and in mud. The disease is frequently found in raccoons, rats, skunks and feral dogs and cats.  It can be carried from animal to animal through contact with urine.

Arizona Experiencing Recent Outbreak of Leptospirosis

In recent months, veterinarians in Maricopa County in Arizona have learned of a number of outbreaks of leptospirosis cases in dogs. Laboratory tests confirmed the outbreak of a number of forms of the disease, which is usually considered rare. The number of cases is triggering increased vaccination efforts to control the spread of the disease.

How To Tell If Your Dogs Has Leptospirosis

Dogs who are infected with leptospirosis will show obvious signs of illness, such as fever, sore muscles, lack of appetite, shivering, vomiting, increased thirst and urination, diarrhea, speckled gum tissue, coughing and breathing problems. If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately for treatment. Treatment consists of antibiotic medications and measures to provide hydration and nutrition for the animal.

Recent Outbreaks Make Vaccination An Important Prevention Measure

Leptospirosis vaccination is usually considered a “non-core” canine vaccine because of the low risk of acquiring the disease. However, recent outbreaks indicate that more dogs may require vaccination to limit the spread of the disease and prevent the severe illness that may occur from infection, particularly in young dogs. Veterinary experts recognize a number of exposure risks. Dogs that engage in outdoors activities with their owners, such as hiking or swimming should be vaccinated, as well as hunting dogs that may be exposed to these situations. Dogs that live in rural areas where they may be in contact with wildlife or animal urine should also be vaccinated against leptospiroris. Dogs in flooded areas should also be vaccinated for this disease. Animals that travel frequently and have contact with other animals, such as for dog shows, should be vaccinated. Dogs that go to dog parks, boarding facilities or other places where they are in contact with other animals should also be vaccinated.

North Central Animal Hospital in Phoenix Can Help With Leptospirosis Vaccination

North Central Animal Hospital can provide vaccination against leptospirosis for animals that are at risk for exposure to the pathogen. We offer a broad range of veterinary services, including examinations, vaccinations, dental care, spay and neuter services, surgery, boarding and grooming. Call North Central Animal Hospital today at 602-900-9586 for information about leptospirosis outbreaks and vaccination against this disease.