Leptospirosis is an unpleasant disease caused by a bacterium that affects many mammals, including people and dogs. The Leptospirosis bacteria is found in the urine of infected animals which contaminates the environment. The organism survives well in damp environments, such as stagnant / slow moving water or moist alkaline soil. Dogs can become infected either by direct contact with the urine of an infected animal, or indirectly for example by swimming in or drinking contaminated water.
Acute cases are seen sporadically in dogs and can be fatal. Many more infections go undiagnosed and can result in kidney and liver complications. In people the principal form of Leptospirosis is commonly known as Weil’s disease. Initial symptoms in people are often described as flu-
There are many different strains of Leptospirosis and two of the most important strains have been used in vaccines in dogs for over 50 years. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of Leptospirosis caused by strains not included in the traditional vaccines. Current 2-
At Hart Vets we have changed to the most up-