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Have you heard of Leptospirosis, or Lepto? This is a very dangerous disease, one that can affect both people and pets. It’s named for the Leptospira bacteria, which is a bacteria that thrives in water and damp soil. With mud season rearing its sloppy head here soon, this is definitely something for pet owners to be aware of. A local Wheat Ridge, CO veterinarian offers some information on Lepto in this article.
One of the reasons Lepto is such a big concern is because it is zoonotic. That means it can move between different types of animals. In fact, Lepto is the most widespread zoonotic infection in the world! Lepto is often found in wild animals, such as deer, racoons, and rodents. Unfortunately, humans can also be infected.
Our canine pals can contract Lepto very easily. Fido only has to walk through an area where an infected animal has urinated to be infected! Other methods of contamination include eating infected animals, drinking or swimming in contaminated water, or coming into contact with contaminated dirt, food, or bedding. Wet fields, pastures, and paddocks are often hotspots, but lakes, streams, and even puddles can also be danger zones.
The signs of Lepto infections can vary from dog to dog. Some red flags to look for would include reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, lethargy, dehydration, and swollen legs. However, it’s important to realize that some dogs don’t show any symptoms. Ask your vet for more information.
Some dogs recover on their own. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. Lepto can cause some very serious medical issues, including kidney failure. Unfortunately, it can even be fatal. The good news is that Lepto is treatable, as long as it’s caught early. If you know or suspect that your furry buddy has contracted or been exposed to Lepto, contact both your own doctor and Fido’s vet ASAP.
There is a vaccine for Lepto. However, it’s not one of the core vaccines, which means it’s not one that is universally recommended for every pup. That said, if you and your canine companion live in or frequent farms, fields, or wild and wooded areas, it’s definitely something to ask your vet about.
Do you want to learn more about the Lepto virus and/or the vaccine? Contact us, your Wheat Ridge, CO pet hospital, today!