Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease that infects dogs, people, and several other types of animals. There are numerous types (called serotypes) of leptospires. Although each type is infectious only for certain animals, some infect several species, including people.
These bacteria attack the kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Recovered animals may shed the organism in their urine for up to 1 year. Infected rats are a common source of leptospirosis.
Vaccination is the best prevention for leptospirosis. All dogs should be vaccinated yearly. This vaccine is commonly combined with the distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza vaccines.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Laboratory tests of blood and urine are necessary to diagnose the disease and monitor the response to treatment. Hospitalization is often necessary.