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.