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This disease can affect both dogs and people, mostly from sharing the same environment. Leptospira bacteria,the cause of this disease, are shed in the environment by wildlife. With the urbanization of rural areas, leptospirosis is on the rise. The disease is also found in major cities where it is transmitted by rat urine. Leptospirosis is a serious disease that, untreated, can be life threatening.
Is your dog at risk?
5 things you can do to protect your dog from leptospirosis:
1. Drain areas of standing water on your property
2. Don't let your dog swim or play in slow moving creeks or water sources where wild animals also swim
3. Keep rodents (rats, mice, and other pests) under control
4. Be aware of the changes in your dogs health or behavior. Watch for signs of leptospirosis (fever, loss of energy or appetite, vomiting, dehydration, jaundice). If you see any of these, contact your veterinarian right away
5. Vaccinate your dog annually against leptospirosis with a 4 strain vaccine
We feel that most dogs in our practice should be vaccinated for this potentially serious disease. We are in the process of changing over from a 2 strain product to a 4 strain product to offer greater protection. Even if you have an adult dog you may wish to follow up the initial 4 strain (new) vaccine with a booster in 2-4 weeks to ensure protection against the new strains.