Dog Disease - Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an infectious dog disease cause by a bacterium called a spirochete. This dog disease has many other names, some of which include ‘Weil’s disease’, ‘Weil’s syndrome’, ‘Canefield fever’, ‘nanukayami fever’, ‘7-day fever’, ‘Rat Cathcher’s Yellows’, etc. This dog disease affects a wide range of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Leptospirosis affects animals worldwide; however it is more widespread in the tropics.

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a bacterium called ‘Leptospira spp.’ this dog disease may be transmitted in a number of ways which include:

* Through the urine of an infected animal, Dogs may lick the urine of the infected animal off the ground or even drink from infected water.
* By other animals, although rats, moles and mice are the primary hosts, there are other animals such as dogs, deer, cows, sheep, raccoons, etc are able to carry and transmit the disease as secondary hosts.
* By the semen of infected animal.


The incubation period of this dog disease in your animal may be in between from 2 to 20 days. Symptoms of this dog disease include the following:

* High fever
* Jaundice
* Depression
* Shivering
* Stiffness
* Joint pains
* Loss of appetite
* Liver or kidney damage
* Reduced urine output
* Unusually dark or brown urine
* Jaundice
* Tiredness
* Eye inflammations
* Nervous system abnormalities
* Some may also drool and vomit
* Dehydration due to fever, vomiting and disinterest in drinking

A few dogs, mostly puppies may die even before showing most of these symptoms.

Leptospirosis treatment consists of two main processes:

1. Suppressing the causative agent
2. Fighting possible complications

Most common method used while treating the dog suffering from this dog disease is to use antibiotics such as pencillin, doxycycline, amoxicillin etc. However, if the disease is diagnosed at a later stage then dogs may have to be detoxified. Moreover, they need to undergo treatments in order to normalize the hydro-electrolytic balance. For this purpose the vet may give the dog solutions containing salt and glucose and in sever cases dialysis is used. Organ specific treatment are essential in cases of heart, liver or renal damage. It is very important to prevent further transmission of disease by adopting preventive measures.