Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leptospirosis in Dogs

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can affect a dog's blood, liver and kidneys. The bacteria that cause disease are mainly carried by rats and other rodents, but dogs infected with the disease can also infect other dogs. Ingestion of the urine of an infected animal is the most common mode of transmission, but the bacteria can be contracted by skin lesions or too thin.

Leptospirosis is a strange disease that can often have no signs or symptoms. In these cases, the bacteria are eventually defeated by the dog's natural defenses. Other times, more often, however, the disease can be fatal to the infected dog. The three main forms of the disease are hemorrhagic (infection of the blood, bleeding SO), renal (kidney infection), and jaundice (infecting the liver).

Hemorrhagic Leptospirosis tends to start with a high fever, loss of appetite and general lethargy. Minor bleeding will occur in the mouth and eyes and the dog may develop vomiting and bloody diarrhea extreme. This form of the disease is often fatal.

Icteric leptospirosis often start the same way as the hemorrhagic fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The mouth and whites of the eyes take on a yellow appearance, similar to victims of jaundice. In some cases, the dog's skin may also appear yellow and jaundiced.

Renal Leptospirosis also starts with fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and depression, but it eventually leads to kidney failure.

The three forms of the disease is treatable and curable and all three types can be potentially fatal. Often dogs that survive will have a chronic kidney disease, renal leptospirosis for the rest of their lives.

The treatment is performed with the use of antibiotics and, if the disease is detected early, usually with success. Cases of leptospirosis in North America are relatively rare, with the development of a vaccine. Puppies are vaccinated against the disease as early as six weeks and receive annual renewal of plans to maintain immunity.

Vaccination and proper hygiene are the best way to avoid Leptospirosis in dogs. If the animal is unable to make contact with the disease than rats and their urine, the dog is not likely to be infected, even if they were not vaccinated. The vaccine against leptospirosis is the most likely of all dog vaccinations to a negative reaction in dogs cause. This reaction is generally mild and usually lethargy, loss of appetite and depression. These effects only last a few days and then the dog is very good and, moreover, protected against the disease.

Leptospirosis is one of the nastier diseases a dog can get, and nobody wants your pet suffer from this disease. Fortunately, thanks to the existence of a good vaccine, few dogs have to endure this life threatening illness in this day and age.


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