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May 04 2015

Leptospirosis…Dangerous Bacteria That May Be Lurking In Your Backyard

What is Leptospirosis?


Leptospirosis (Lepto for short) is a dangerous bacterial disease most commonly shed in rodent and raccoon urine in our area.  Lepto infects the kidneys and liver and is life-threatening. 


How does my pet get Lepto?


Dogs commonly become infected by drinking from puddles and other water sources where rodent or raccoon urine may be present. If you have ever mistakenly left your trash unlocked at night, I’m sure you’ve noticed how abundant the raccoon population is around here.


Humans are at risk too!


The scariest part about Lepto is that it is zoonotic, meaning humans can catch it from their dogs. Exposure occurs when humans come into contact with the urine of an animal that is actively shedding Lepto.  Don’t think you come into contact with your pet’s urine?  You may unknowingly walk through it and track Lepto into your house.  This especially puts young children at risk who spend a lot of time playing on the floor and ground.


How can I protect my dog?


I recommend vaccinating all dogs against Leptospirosis due to its life threatening nature for both dogs and humans.


Is my pet at risk?


It used to be thought that only larger dogs who spent a lot of time outside were at risk and required vaccination. Recent studies have shown that a very large number of smaller breed and “indoor” dogs are becoming infected with Lepto, because vaccinating them is often overlooked. Newer Lepto vaccines are safe and effective for dogs of all breeds.

Our Lepto vaccine is available in combination with the Lyme vaccine.

Dr. Jessica Jones | Diseases, Vaccines

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