Canine Leptospirosis – Symptoms and Treatment

When we speak of animal health, we are not only referring to the absence of disease, but also to a state of well-being which is the result of covering all the needs of our pet, both physical and mental and social.

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But as for physical health, we must clarify that very few diseases are exclusive to the human being, so that our dog can suffer from the same conditions that we.

In YourCatCareguide we will tell you about the symptoms and treatment of canine leptospirosis, a disease of great importance since it is a zoonosis, that is, a condition that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

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What is canine leptospirosis

Canine leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a genus of bacteria called Leptospira , but the ones that normally affect the dog are Leptospira Canicola and Leptospira Icterohaemorrhagiae

This group of bacteria affect most domestic and wild mammals, in addition to cold-blooded animals and humans.

The prevalence of this disease increases in the months of high temperatures and is higher in male dogs, believed to be due to the habits of smelling and licking urine that they present.

How the contagion occurs

The contagion of canine leptospirosis occurs when the bacteria penetrates the animalthrough the nasal, buccal, conjunctive mucosa or through the skin that presents some type of wound.

Through the mucosa, the bacteria reach the bloodstream and distribute through it until reaching the different organs and tissues, once in these, an immune reaction occurs on the part of the animal.

This reaction causes the death of the pathogen which causes the release of toxins by the latter, and if the bacterium has managed to evade the immune response, it will deposit in the liver and kidney, which will cause serious disorders, as we will see more ahead.

Canine leptospirosis contagion

The main route of contagion of leptospirosis between animals is water or food contaminated with the urine of other diseased animals . Contamination of leptospirosis between animals and humans occurs when people come into contact with contaminated water, food or urine, although it can also be transmitted through the soil if this surface is infected and has a habit of walking barefoot.

Since the main route of transmission is through ingestion of contaminated water or food, special care should be taken with children who live with animals.

Symptoms of canine leptospirosis

Most of the time this disease occurs without evidence of symptoms , in other cases it is possible to observe an acute or chronic course of the pathology, but in both situations the prognosis is reserved, since it is a disease with a very high mortality rate which ranges from 70% to 90% of cases.

The symptoms of canine leptospirosis are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (sometimes with blood present)
  • Dark urine
  • Symptoms of pain when urinating
  • Breath smelling of urine
  • Ulcerations in the buccal mucosa
  • General deterioration of animal

Symptoms related to urination are especially important as they evidence kidney damage, which implies a serious condition of the whole organism.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog you should go to the vet right awaybecause the sooner you start the proper treatment, the more chances your pet has to survive.

Diagnosis of the disease

To diagnose canine leptospirosis in your pet, the veterinarian will perform a full scan and will take into account all the symptoms manifested, but will also analyze the urine, which in the case of infection will show a high number of proteins and hemoglobin.

The definitive diagnosis is made through a blood test that measures the parameters of serology (antibodies) or through a microscopic observation of the urine where the presence of the bacterium leptospira can be observed.

Treatment of canine leptospirosis

Treatment of canine leptospirosis requires several pharmacological and dietary measures .

To begin with let’s talk about the combination of broad spectrum antibiotics (penicillin and streptomycin) to combat bacterial infection. It is also important to try to reverse the symptoms and control liver and kidney damage. Finally, it is important to offer a highly nutritious but low protein diet.

Remember that the vet is the only person who knows how to recommend the best treatment for your dog.

Prevention of canine leptospirosis

To prevent canine leptospirosis it is recommended that the dog be vaccinated for this purpose, however, currently available vaccines have a limitation on the serotypes, ie they do not cover all bacteria of the genus leptospira.

Vaccination is a highly recommended practice , although doses should be boosted every 6 months, not yearly. To prevent this disease, it is also important to periodically disinfect the animal’s environment.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you wish to read more articles matching A Canine Leptospirosis – Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our section on Bacterial Diseases .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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