Leptospirosis in Dogs: What It Is and How to Prevent It


Leptospirosis in DogsLeptospirosis in Dogs

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis in dogs is a bacterial illness that is caused by one of several strains of germ personal as Leptospira. It can impact dogs, cats, and other mammals. It also poses a health risk to people. In serious cases, an infection with Leptospira can means kidney failure, liver failure, and death. 

How is leptospirosis acquired? 

Infected animals can shed a germ by many corporeal fluids though urine is a many common method, and urine can pervert areas where there is copiousness of water.

 Leptospirosis cases are mostly seen in farming areas, though some-more cases are being reported in regions with lots of stormy continue and rising stream levels. Garbage can also be a source of hit given rats and other rodents will urinate and defecate while rummaging by trash. Your dog can turn putrescent if he cooking rubbish or if he drinks or swims in infested water, and a germ can also enter a physique by skin wounds. It can take 4 to twelve days before a dog will uncover signs of illness.

Leptospirosis in Dogs

Leptospirosis in Dogs

What are a symptoms of leptospirosis?

Because leptospirosis is a bacterial infection, dogs competence uncover signs like with other infections. Fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and weight detriment are some of a many common signs. 

In amiable cases, dogs can redeem casually or not uncover any signs during all. 

In other cases, a illness can swell and means draining problems like coughing adult blood, nosebleeds, pinpoint blood spots on a gums and skin (aka petechiae), and bloody diarrhea. Click on a couple for some-more information about Diarrhea in Dogs.  

Complications of leptospirosis

Leptospirosis can means liver disease

Clinical signs start out like those mentioned above though afterwards jaundice or icterus occur. This means that a dog’s skin and a whites of his eyes will have a yellow color. Damage to a liver can have prolonged tenure effects and means ongoing liver disease. For some-more information on liver disease, greatfully check out a essay on Liver Disease in Dogs. 

Leptospirosis can means kidney disease

Kidney illness can start with or but liver disease. When leptospirosis causes kidney disease, your dog competence uncover signs like increasing lust and visit urination. They can have bad breath due to toxins building adult in their blood, develop ulcers on their tongue, and they can knowledge frequent vomiting. Our essay on Vomiting in Dogs has some-more sum about what to do when this happens. 

leptospirosis can means kidney disease

leptospirosis can means kidney disease

How is it leptospirosis diagnosed?

Since leptospirosis has clinical signs like other illnesses, your veterinarian will suggest additional testing. 

Blood work 

Blood work can infrequently uncover abnormalities like increased white blood cells, indicating infection or inflammation, and increasing liver and kidney enzymes. There are few diseases that will means a arise in both liver and kidney enzymes, so if your veterinarian finds this on your dog’s blood work, afterwards a index of guess for leptospirosis is really high. 

Urine Testing 

Urine contrast is also endorsed in sequence to evaluate a kidneys and demeanour for serve signs of infection. 

Specialized contrast can be useful in confirming a diagnosis

  • PCR testing of a dog’s blood and urine can demeanour for a participation of Leptospira DNA. 
  • Another exam called a microscopic agglutination test, or MAT, looks for antibodies opposite Leptospira bacteria.

Both tests have their pros and cons. For example, a DNA exam competence not produce accurate formula if your dog has already started holding antibiotics, and a MAT exam formula can be influenced by before vaccination opposite Leptospira.   

How is leptospirosis treated?

Treatment is most effective when it is instituted quickly, so make certain to hit your veterinarian right divided if your dog is dull and not eating. Even with early, assertive therapy, there is still a possibility that your dog competence have ongoing liver or kidney disease. 


Antibiotics like penicillin or ampicillin are started for a initial few days in sequence to decrease a series of Leptospira germ benefaction in a body. After that, an antibiotic called doxycycline is endorsed for a following few weeks in sequence to prevent your dog from being a conduit of a bacteria

Hospital caring fluids 

Because of a astringency of clinical signs, sanatorium caring is mostly recommended. Intravenous liquid therapy will assistance to correct dehydration and support a inner organs, generally a liver and a kidneys. Anti-nausea remedy competence be necessary, and given leptospirosis is rarely contagious, your dog will need to be hospitalized divided from other patients. 

How to forestall your dog from getting leptospirosis?

Be wakeful that both indoor and outside dogs can agreement leptospirosis

Previously, it was insincere that indoor-only dogs could not turn putrescent with leptospirosis given they were kept divided from outside H2O sources, stormy areas, etc. However, there have been documented cases of leptospirosis in tiny multiply dogs vital in unit buildings in New York City. Their bearing to a germ has been related to rodents creation their approach into a apartments around pipes. 

Vaccination is a many effective approach to forestall leptospirosis 

The many common vaccine protects opposite 4 strains of Leptospira. If a dog receives a leptospirosis vaccine for a initial time, afterwards a vaccine should be steady 3 weeks later. Subsequent administration provides insurance for one year. If we live in a farming area, or if your dog loves to go swimming in lakes and rivers, afterwards a leptospirosis vaccine is rarely recommended. The vaccine can also yield flock shield for people and other pets as there is no leptospirosis vaccine accessible for cats. 

vaccination for leptospirosis

vaccination for leptospirosis

If your dog is infected, keep your other pets divided from their urine 

If your dog has been diagnosed with leptospirosis, afterwards make certain to equivocate hit with his urine. Household disinfectants and whiten are effective for cleaning adult any accidents in a home, and always rinse your hands after doing your dog or cleaning adult accidents. You should also make certain that your dog avoids urinating in areas with station H2O or areas where your other pets competence go for walks. 

Leptospirosis is a dangerous and life-threatening illness.

It is rarely foul to other animals and to people, creation it a open health risk. 

Quick and assertive therapy is a best approach to lessen prolonged tenure problems like ongoing kidney and liver disease. Make certain to ask your veterinarian for some-more information on a leptospirosis vaccine to confirm if it is right for your dog.