Here’s What You Need to Know About This Contagious Disease Called Leptospirosis.
We want to alert you to a health concern for certain populations of dogs in Maricopa County. As many as 4 confirmed dogs in Fountain Hills have been diagnosed recently with canine Leptospirosis (also referred to as “Lepto”). According to the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, other Maricopa County veterinarians are seeing an increase in the number of cases of canine leptospirosis.
Key points pertinent to you and your pet(s):
- Leptospirosis is caused by an infectious bacteria and is known as a zoonotic disease meaning the bacteria can be transmitted from animals to humans.
- Infected animals (such wildlife or other dogs) spread the bacteria through bodily fluids such as urine. Humans and pets can become exposed through direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated water, soil or food.
- Dogs most at risk may include those that have frequent exposure to other dogs at dog parks, dog shows, boarding facilities, day care etc. Pets may also become infected through exposure to stagnate water.
- Symptoms of an infection in pets can mimic other conditions. They include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to eat, and severe weakness. If your pet displays these symptoms, it’s important your pet is examined by a veterinarian in which testing for Leptospirosis can be done.
- The good news is there is a vaccination for dogs, which can help protect against several strains of Leptospirosis. The Leptospirosis vaccine is available locally at Hillside Animal Hospital.The Center for
Disease Control and Prevention website contains helpful information about the symptoms in humans, prevention, and treatment for Leptospirosis, https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/
Call Hillside Animal Hospital at (480) 391-7297 to have your pets examined by a veterinarian and discuss your pet’s lifestyle to see if vaccinating for Leptospirosis is right for your pet.