Is Your Dog at Risk for Leptospirosis?

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects mainly dogs and rats but can also be spread to humans and cats. The disease seems to be mild in cats, but it can be deadly in dogs and humans if not treated promptly. The veterinarians at Winter Garden Animal Hospital in Winter Garden, FL, want dog owners to be able to spot symptoms of leptospirosis and get their pet vaccinated. Early treatment is important for keeping both you and your pet safe.

Know the Signs of the Disease

Leptospirosis is caused by a genus of bacteria known as Leptospira. Within this genus are several types of bacteria that can all lead to the disease. The bacteria is transmitted through several routes, from contact with infected rats and their urine, to contact with infected dogs or bodily fluids from infected dogs. In fact, one suspected vector is the communal water dish that you might see outside a store or at a dog park.

Symptoms of the disease can actually be rather non-specific. Vomiting, urinary troubles, dizziness, jaundice, inflammation, and other symptoms can be signs of leptospirosis or of other diseases. If your dog has any of these symptoms, take the dog in to see our veterinarian to get tests like bloodwork and an ultrasound. Those results plus your dog’s history will tell the vet whether leptospirosis is a possibility.

You can prevent leptospirosis by having your pet vaccinated annually and by preventing dogs from drinking from stagnant ponds or communal water bowls. Keep your home pest-free, too, because rats in the home are a potential vector.

Treatments early on include aggressive use of antibiotics. If secondary effects occur, such as liver or kidney damage, those symptoms will need their own treatment regimen.

Let Our Animal Hospital Help Your Dog Heal Quickly

Bring your dog in to see one of our veterinarians at Winter Garden Animal Hospital in Winter Garden, FL, for a vaccination and exam. Contact us today at (407) 656-4132.

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