Today's column is written by Dr. Sarah McElroy:
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection, spread through the urine, which can cause liver and kidney failure in dogs and people.It is carried by many animals, including deer, mice, and other wildlife. Dogs usually acquire the infection through drinking contaminated water, but it can also enter broken skin, or be ingested from soil or damp grass.Signs of the disease can include increased thirst/urination, vomiting, inappetance, and jaundice. This disease can be fatal and requires intensive care to treat. It can be transmitted to humans, especially children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
A vaccine is available to help prevent this disease, and should be considered for those dogs that are out in the woods frequently, or are exposed to wildlife or standing water in their environment. By vaccinating your dog, you are also helping to protect the people your dog comes in contact with.
Think about whether your dog is at risk; we are available to answer any other questions you might have.