Leptospirosis In Dogs

Leptospirosis In Dogs

Leptospirosis is​ a​ bacterial infection that can affect a​ dog’s blood,​ liver,​ and kidneys. the​ bacteria that cause the​ illness are carried primarily by rats and other rodents,​ but dogs that are infected with the​ disease can infect other dogs as​ well. Ingestion of​ the​ urine of​ an​ infected animal is​ the​ most common means of​ transmission,​ but the​ bacteria can be contracted through damaged or​ thin skin as​ well.

Leptospirosis is​ an​ odd disease that can often show no signs or​ symptoms at​ all. in​ these cases the​ bacteria are eventually defeated by the​ dog’s natural defenses. Other times,​ and more often,​ however,​ the​ disease can be life threatening to​ the​ infected dog. the​ three main forms of​ the​ disease are hemorrhagic (infection in​ the​ blood,​ causing bleeding),​ renal (infecting the​ kidneys),​ and icteric (infecting the​ liver).

Hemorrhagic Leptospirosis tends to​ start with a​ high fever,​ loss of​ appetite,​ and general lethargy. Small hemorrhages start to​ occur in​ the​ mouth and eyes and the​ dog may develop extreme bloody vomiting and diarrhea. This form of​ the​ disease is​ often fatal.

Icteric Leptospirosis will often start the​ same way as​ the​ hemorrhagic form; with fever,​ lethargy,​ and loss of​ appetite. the​ mouth and whites of​ the​ eyes will take on​ a​ yellow appearance,​ similar to​ victims of​ jaundice. in​ some cases the​ dog’s skin may also appear yellow and jaundiced.

Renal Leptospirosis also starts with fever,​ appetite loss,​ and lethargic depression,​ but eventually leads to​ kidney failure.

All three forms of​ the​ disease are treatable and curable and all three forms can be potentially fatal. Often dogs that survive renal Leptospirosis will have chronic kidney disease for the​ rest of​ their lives.

Treatment is​ accomplished with the​ use of​ antibiotics and,​ if​ the​ disease is​ caught early enough,​ is​ generally successful. Cases of​ Leptospirosis in​ North America are fairly rare,​ thanks to​ the​ development of​ a​ vaccine. Puppies are inoculated for the​ disease as​ early as​ six weeks of​ age and receive annual renewal shots to​ maintain their immunity.

Vaccination and clean,​ hygienic conditions are the​ best way to​ avoid Leptospirosis in​ dogs. if​ the​ animal is​ not able to​ come into contact with disease carrying rats and their urine,​ the​ dog is​ unlikely to​ become infected,​ even if​ unvaccinated. the​ leptospirosis vaccine is​ the​ most likely of​ all dog vaccinations to​ cause an​ adverse reaction in​ the​ dog. This reaction is​ generally mild and most often includes lethargy,​ loss of​ appetite,​ and depression. These effects last only a​ few days and afterward the​ dog is​ fine and,​ more importantly,​ protected from the​ disease.

Leptospirosis is​ one of​ the​ nastier diseases a​ dog can get and no one wants to​ see his or​ her pet suffer with this illness. Fortunately,​ thanks to​ the​ existence of​ a​ good vaccine,​ few dogs have to​ endure this life threatening illness in​ today’s day and age.

Leptospirosis In Dogs

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