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dog in waterThere has been an increase in incidence of LEPTOSPIROSIS (Lepto) in our area.  You may have seen information on the news about this outbreak.  Lepto is a bacterial infection that is spread through the urine of wild animals.  People can also contract Leptospirosis.  Several of the local emergency and referral hospitals in our immediate area has recently seen at least 12 cases.  Unfortunately, three of these cases were not treated in time and the dogs passed away.  

Leptospirosis can enter the bloodstream through skin or mucous membranes.  Dogs can contract Lepto from sniffing or licking the ground or standing water.  Early signs of Lepto are vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, dehydration and lethargy.  If untreated, Lepto can cause organ failure including kidney and or liver failure.  If caught early, there is a chance it can be treated with antibiotics.  There is a vaccine available for four of the most common strains of Leptospirosis.  We recommend that all dogs be vaccinated for Lepto, even those that do not spend a lot of time outdoors.  If your dog has never been vaccinated for Lepto, he or she will require a series of two vaccinations several weeks apart.  After the initial series, Lepto is an annual vaccine. 

Related Articles:

Disease fatal to dogs on rise in North Jersey, report says (NJ.com)

AVMA - Leptospirosis

CDC - Leptospirosis

 


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