Leptospirosis In Dogs: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention – Leptospirosis is an infectious and zoonotic disease (transmitted from animal to human or vice versa) that causes acute kidney failure and liver disease.
The causes of leptospirosis are various serovars of Leptospira interrogans. Leptospirosis in subacute form does not appear clinical symptoms, whereas in acute form it will cause sepsis, interstitial nephritis (infection in the kidneys), hemolytic anemia, hepatitis and abor**tus.
Dogs that have outdoor activities and hunting dogs are more at risk of leptospirosis. Environmental factors that support the life of Leptospira sp are humid and warm environment, rainy season, lowland, tropical and subtropical, watery environment. Organisms can survive 180 days in wet water or soil, densely populated environments and there are rodents or wildlife.
What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial infection spread by mice, often through contaminated water. This is a very serious condition and very often fatal for dogs.
How can a dog get Lepto diseases?
Leptospirosis is usually spread through the urine of infected animals. Most dogs that like to be outside are at risk of this disease. Dogs are usually infected when they come into contact with wet grass, soil, puddles, rivers or ponds that have been contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Bacteria can enter through wounds on the skin or mucous membranes such as in the eyes, nose or mouth.
Wild animals and pets commonly infected with this disease are: raccoons, ferrets, mice, squirrels, foxes, coyotes, deer, horses, farm animals, pigs, dogs.
Leptospirosis symptoms in dogs
Clinical signs range from mild subclinical infections to multiorgan failure and death. In fact, acute kidney injury has become the most common symptom for canine leptospirosis in recent years. Dogs affected by leptospirosis can show the following clinical signs:
- Fever and illness
- Aches and reluctant muscles move
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
Leptospirosis in dogs can be caused by infections of various serovars Leptospira interrogans including L. australis, L. Autumnalis, L. ballum, L. batislava, L. bataviae, L. canicola, L. grippotyphosa, L. hardjo, L. icterohaemorrhagica, L. pomona, and L. tarassovi.
While in cats it can be caused by serovars L. bratislava, L. canicola, L. grippotyphosa, and L. pomona. Serovars commonly used in Leptospira vaccines are serovars L. canicola and L. icterohemorrhagica.
Antibodies formed against serovars above are specific serovars antibodies so as not to cause a cross-reaction between serovar, which results in the absence of protection against other serovars that are in nature even though they have been vaccinated.
Leptospirosis in dog treatment
How to treat leptospirosis disease by providing the right antibiotics. The disease takes a long time to heal and restore liver function back to normal.
Antibiotics are used to eradicate Leptospira bacteria and are often administered in 2 stages: 1 type of antibiotic to treat early infections, followed by different types of antibiotics to combat bacteria in the urine. The earlier it is treated, the better.
If the dog have experienced kidney failure and/or liver failure, then the chances of recovery will be more difficult. In these cases, aggressive treatment is essential including infusion fluids, medications to reduce vomiting and treat other effects of kidney and liver failure and dialysis. However, depending on the severity of the disease, treatment does not always work when kidney / liver failure has appeared.
Leptospirosis in dogs prevention
Clean the environment
Always clean the environment where the dog lives and playgrounds, do not become a rat’s nest. To clean the environment can use an antiseptic solution based on formalin.
Use a dog leash
If invited to walk always use a dog leash. Do not allow dogs to approach dirty bins / environments.
If there is a dog that is positively affected by this disease immediately separate it and do not be put together to play with other dogs. Leptospirosis is contagious from his urine and can infect humans. Handling a sick dog should be careful.. Do not forget to wash your hands with antiseptic after handling dogs affected by this disease.
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