Leptospirosis in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $500 – $1,500

What is Leptospirosis in Dogs?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect dogs, humans, rodents and many other mammals. Leptospirosis is more common in areas with warm climates and high annual rainfall but it can occur anywhere.

Humans usually become infected through recreational activities involving water, but being in direct contact with the secretions (e.g. urine) of an infected animal can also result in human disease. People who suffer from leptospirosis usually start feeling flu-like symptoms and then the disease can progress and affect the kidneys and liver.

Pets usually become infected by consuming or being in contact with contaminated water or food. Rodents are also a very common source of Leptospirosis infection.

Symptoms of Leptospirosis in Dogs

  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Reluctance to move
  • Increased thirst
  • Changes in the frequency or amount of urination
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes)
  • Painful inflammation of the eyes

Treatment of Leptospirosis in Dogs

Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics but the outcome will depend on the degree of renal and liver damage present. Some pets will need hospitalization. There is a highly effective vaccine against leptospirosis which is recommended to dogs who live in areas we leptospirosis is common.

 Resources for Leptospirosis in Dogs

1-Leptospirosis information sheet by the American Veterinary Medicine Association

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