14 Apr Leptospirosis Vaccine for Your Dog
One of the components of your dog’s annual wellness protocol is a vaccine to protect against the disease Leptospirosis. This disease is found worldwide in both wild and domestic animals. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it affects humans as well as animals. The fact that it can be transmitted from your dog to you makes this an important disease to be aware of.
In the past, leptospirosis, or lepto, was thought to be one that primarily affects large breed dogs who tend to be more active outdoors – swimming and spending time in “wild” settings. However, small breed dogs are being diagnosed with lepto more frequently. The number of cases has been increasing annually and may be caused by the increased urbanization of wildlife hosts such as raccoons, skunks, opossums, rodents, and deer. The leptospirosis bacteria are shed in the urine of infected host animals. Periods of heavy rainfall can increase the likelihood of infection due to an increased number or organisms in a wet environment.
The challenge in diagnosing this disease is due to the fact that the symptoms can be associated with many other conditions. This wide array of symptoms can include fever, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and muscle pain and stiffness. Diagnostic lab work may include urinalysis, complete blood count and serum chemistries.
There are new in-house tests available to diagnose lepto in its early stages. Early diagnosis allows for more successful treatment of the disease and a diminished chance of spreading it to your pet’s family and caregivers. Call us at (315) 570-6760 to discuss your concerns or questions about making the leptospirosis vaccination a part of your dog’s routine healthcare.