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Posted on 11-06-2015

One question we get asked by dog owners when talking about vaccines is "Lepto?  What is Lepto?"  Lepto is vet tech jargen for Leptospirosis - a bacteria that dogs can contract from drinking out of ponds and puddles which can eventually cause urinary tract infections & kidney disease.  

Lepto is a deadly disease that can affect all mammals including people.  In our area, the danger comes from wild animals that are affected by this bacteria and shed it in their urine.  The bacteria then collects in puddles and ponds, typically in the woods.  Lepto is what we call a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted from dogs to people if someone were to ingest any of the bacteria.  This is more important in the homes with children, who aren't always the most hygenic.  

Although most dogs with leptospirosis do not show clinical signs, symptoms of the disease may include: 

In order to diagnose Lepto, we would send blood and urine samples to the lab for antibody and PCR testing.  These tests can be costly and take some time to complete. Depending on how early the disease is detected, leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics.  

The good news is that there is a vaccine that protects against the most common serovars of this bacteria!  The initial vaccine is boostered 2-4 weeks later, then annually going forward.  Give us a call with any questions, or read more here: Leptospirosis

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