Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease that infects dogs, horses and small wildlife. It is a life threatening zoonotic disease, or a veterinary disease that can also infect humans. When an infected animal urinates or salivates on their environment, which may include your lawn, they leave enough bacteria to be infectious if ingested by your pets, states Mary Jean Calvi, LVT, at Pawling Animal Hospital in Pawling, NY.
Often referred to as “Lepto,” it is most often acquired through accidental ingestion of infected urine. However, the bacteria can also enter the body through open wounds, abrasions or mucus membranes in the eyes of nose. The signs and symptoms of Lepto mimic signs of many other diseases which is why immediate diagnosis is important. These symptoms include fever, lethargy, GI upset, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea, excessive drinking, general malaise, jaundice, yellow foamy vomit, dark or bloody urine or unusual “accidents” in the house.
Prevention is the best medicine. Vaccinating your pet against Lepto can make a difference. Make sure you talk to your vet about this important vaccine.
Did you know… Several diseases can be transmitted from pet to person, and vice-versa?
If you’ve ever shared your home with other people, you know that illnesses can travel from one person to another, until everyone’s been infected. The same can happen with pets and, even worse, illnesses can transfer from pets to people and back again. We call this zoonotic disease, and protecting your pets is the first step to protecting the rest of your family. Here are just a couple of the zoonotic diseases you should watch out for:
Mange Caused by specific mite species
Transmitted pet-to person through direct contact with mites on an infected animal
Signs and complications in pets: Itching, hair loss, dandruff or crusty lesions, and bleeding or oozing skin
Hookworm Infection Hookworms are thick, short (6- to 12-mm) worms that are whitish to reddish brown with a hooked front end. They live in the gastrointestinal tract. Transmitted pet-to-person through skin or fecal-oral contact
Signs and complications in pets: Diarrhea, anemia, weight loss, and deterioration of the skin and coat condition; adult dogs and cats may not show signs.