Leptospirosis in dogs is a bacterial infection which can affect a dog’s blood, kidney’s and liver. The bacteria which causes this illness are carried mainly by rats.
The most common means of transmission is when a dog ingests the urine of an animal which has been infected with this illness or through thin or damaged skin.
The disease can often show no symptoms at all in an affected pet. In this case, the dog’s natural defenses are dealing with it. However, at other times, this disease can be life threatening.
Leptospirosis in dogs comes in 3 main forms.
1): Renal Leptospirosis:
This is where it infects the kidneys and starts with appetite loss, lethargic depression and fever. Eventually this leads to kidney failure.
2): Icteric Leptospirosis:
This is where the liver is infected. The symptoms begin with lethargy, loss of appetite and fever. The whites of the eyes and the mouth will take on a yellow appearance, like that of jaundice. Also, the skin, in some dogs, might also appear jaundiced.
3): Hemorrhagic Leptospirosis:
This is where there is infection in the blood, causing bleeding. This again starts with a loss of appetite, lethargy and fever, similar to the Icteric form. Hemorrhages begin to appear in the eyes and mouth, causing extreme diarrhea and vomiting. Unfortunately, this form of leptospirosis is often fatal.
The treatment regime is by prescribing antibiotics, and this treatment is generally successful, if the disease is caught early enough. This disease is rare because puppies are generally inoculated from six weeks and to maintain this immunity to the disease are given annual renewal shots.
The best way to avoid Leptospirosis in dogs is through maintaining hygienic conditions and vaccination. This will mean that your dog is unlikely to come in contact with rats, which carry the disease.
It should be noted that the leptospirosis vaccine can cause an adverse reaction. It is usually mild, causing loss of appetite and lethargy. The symptoms only last for a few days, but it must be remembered that your dog is now protected from this potentially fatal disease and nasty disease.
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals or veterinarians on any matter relating to their dogs health and well-being. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.