Recently, there was an outbreak of leptospirosis in the Phoenix area. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection found in dogs, but it can spread to humans and other animals. Phoenix officials hope to prevent an epidemic by informing dog owners about the symptoms and risks associated with leptospirosis. Continue reading for a better look at leptospirosis and how it may affect your dog.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that penetrates dogs’ skin and spreads throughout their bodies through the bloodstream. The bacterium, known also as leptospires, can spread to vital organs and systems, such as the liver and central nervous system. Young dogs and those with a lowered immune system are most at risk of developing the infection. Humans and other animals are also at risk of contracting the bacteria and developing an infection.
Symptoms of leptospirosis include a sudden fever, sore or stiff muscles, shivering, lack of appetite, and increased thirst. In addition to increased thirst, your dog may experience an inability to urinate and show signs of dehydration. Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, fluctuating breathing, and signs of anemia.
The easiest method of treatment includes antibiotics. Your veterinarian may hospitalize your dog if the disease has progressed to a dangerous level. Hospitalization may also be necessary to better treat your dog’s symptoms. Follow your veterinarian’s directions for continuing treatment.
There is a vaccine available, which can be administered based on your dog’s risk of developing the infection. You can also limit your dog’s risk by inspecting all kennels and boarding locations for rodents and cleanliness. Reduce your dog’s exposure to different animal species outside of the house. Avoid standing water, flooded areas, or hiking areas with a lot of water.
If you live in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas, then call Horizon Animal Hospital at (480) 800-4559 to inquire about your dog’s risk of developing leptospirosis. We want our patients to be healthy and happy, so please visit us online or call us to schedule your next appointment.