Leptospirosis is a bacteria that infects both humans and animals.

According to the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, some Maricopa County veterinarians are seeing an increase in the number of cases of canine leptospirosis.  This is a disease that can be passed between animals and humans.  It’s important to know the facts about leptospirosis, also referred to as simply “lepto”.   Key points include:

  • Infected animals spread the disease through bodily fluids such as urine.
  • Humans and pets get the disease through contact with infected animals or by contact with infected soil, water, or food.
  • The bacteria can live in contaminated environments for weeks or even months.
  • Contaminated water is the most common cause of outbreaks.
  • The risk of acquiring leptospirosis is greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine, or eliminating contact with potentially infected animals.
  • 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 to visit your vet so tests can be run to rule out lepto.
  • There is a vaccination for pets.  The leptospirosis vaccine is available at Hillside Animal Hospital.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website contains helpful information about symptoms in humans, prevention and treatment for leptospirosis. Click here to learn more.

Call Hillside Animal Hospital at 480-391-7297 to get your pet vaccinated or if you’re concerned about your pet.