Most Los Angeles dog owners view their dogs as important members of their families. Preventing bacterial infection in dogs through vaccinations helps you to keep your dog healthy and safe. A serious disease, leptospirosis in dogs can damage their kidneys, liver, and lungs and could result in death.
These dangers are one of the reasons why The Wags Club, the best dog daycare in Los Angeles, requires you to vaccinate your dog before bringing it for doggy daycare. The first dose must be received by Sept. 15 to receive doggy daycare services. Here is some information about leptospirosis that you should know.
What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection in dogs and other animals caused by the Leptospira bacteria. These types of bacteria spread through infected urine and can contaminate the soil and water where your dog walks, runs, and plays. Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, meaning that it can spread from dogs to humans. While humans normally contract it from contaminated bodies of water, they can still become infected by contacting the urine of infected pets. Finally, leptospirosis can happen anywhere but is most common in warm areas with high rainfall.
Signs your dog has leptospirosis
What are the symptoms of lepto in dogs? The signs your dog has leptospirosis might vary. Some dogs are asymptomatic. Others might experience a leptospirosis rash in dogs together with transient illness, and finally, some become seriously ill and die.
Some of the symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs include the following:
- Leptospirosis rash in dogs
- Increased thirst
- Tender muscles
- Changes in urinary frequency or amount
- Inflammation of the eyes
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Difficulty breathing
- Lung disease
- Abnormal bleeding
- Fluid accumulation
Veterinary doctors diagnose leptospirosis through urine and blood tests. Confirmatory tests might be sent to an outside laboratory. A vet might suspect leptospirosis based on the symptoms and your dog’s exposure history. Other tests might also be recommended, including ultrasounds or x-rays to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment options for leptospirosis
Treatment for leptospirosis in dogs requires aggressive antibiotics combined with supportive care. Dogs that receive aggressive, early treatment have a good chance of recovering. However, they will still be at risk of permanent liver or kidney damage. The best way to treat leptospirosis is by vaccinating your dog to prevent it from happening in the first place.
How to prevent leptospirosis
Leptospirosis can be spread by other infected animals’ urine in the environment. Infected urine can contaminate soil and water outdoors. This makes it nearly impossible to prevent your dog from being exposed to leptospirosis. The only way to substantially reduce your dog’s risk of leptospirosis is to ensure that it receives an annual vaccination. Following the first vaccine dose, your dog will need a booster shot a few weeks later. Then, you should make sure your dog receives an annual booster for full protection.
Importance of vaccinating dogs for leptospirosis
Since Leptospira bacteria pass through urine, your dog can develop an infection easily. Wild animals and infected pets can urinate in places where your dog walks. The bacteria also thrive in heat and standing water. If your dog walks through contaminated soil or water and then cleans its paws, it can develop a bacterial infection.
While rare, an infected dog can also pass its infection to humans and other pets. Vaccinating your dog against leptospirosis can keep both your dog and the entire family safe. Finally, making sure that you fully vaccinate your dog can allow you and your dog to benefit from the socialization offered at The Wags Club, the best dog daycare in Los Angeles. To learn more about the doggy daycare services we provide, contact us at (310) 473-3333 to schedule a consultation.