Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is spread through the urine of infected wildlife (including rodents), livestock or even other dogs. It is one of the most common zoonotic (spread from animals to humans) diseases world wide. This means it can not only be fatal to your dog, but to you as well! Typically a dog will show vague signs of disease such as fever, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and low energy levels. The most severe cases can result in kidney and/or liver failure.
Unfortunately, this is a disease that is on the rise in Colorado.
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to protect your pet (and yourself). First and foremost, your dog should be vaccinated against this disease. Keep in mind that there are a variety of vaccine products on the market, some with better protection than others. In addition, avoid stagnant water and practice good sanitation habits. Keep your dog clean and always wash your hands if you come into contact with dog urine. It is best to keep your dog away from areas where wildlife frequent, which is hard to do considering all of the fun outdoor activities we have in our beautiful state. More worrisome is the fact that the veterinarians at Polo Springs Veterinary Hospital are diagnosing and treating Leptospirosis in many dogs that have not visited these types of areas. Please make a point to discuss this disease with your veterinarian if your dog has not been vaccinated for Leptospirosis.