Spring is here, and with the warmer weather comes rodents. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bodily fluids (usually urine) of small animals such as mice, rats, and squirrels. You may be thinking, how can my dog get a bug from rodent urine? The answer is simple. If your dog goes outside, steps in grass where a squirrel has relieved itself, and comes in and licks his paws, he has a chance of getting infected. The kicker about lepto is that it is zoonotic, meaning not only can it be passed to your pets, it can be passed to you. Think about the fact that a lot of people (myself included) let their dogs lick their face. Sometimes that’s all it takes to pass lepto from animal to human.
Symptoms of lepto can include fever, sore muscles, stiffness, shivering, weakness, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing, among others. Cases of leptospirosis have been known to be fatal.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to get him (or her) vaccinated. Here at Mulnix, we like to look at the lepto vaccine as a core vaccine, one that we will always recommend to you when you bring your dog in for their yearly checkup. Because not only is it in the best interest of your dogs to avoid this disease, it’s in your best interest too. If you have a yard, or take your dog to the park, or anywhere there could be small rodents, there will be a risk of infection. And it is always better to prevent something than to treat it. My dogs have gotten their lepto vaccines every year, and I love having the peace of mind knowing that they won’t get sick when they are running around outside, because in the spring and summer that is their favorite place to be!
If you want to learn more about this vaccine, or have any questions about lepto, give us a call! We are always here to help you and your pet.