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Leptospirosis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Leptospirosis in Dogs: Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria: leptospira. There are seven different varieties or serotypes that affect dogs with only two or three being the most frequent. But they are not the same in different regions.

It is distributed throughout the world, especially in humid areas. As it survives a long time in the water. It affects many species including humans, and populations of rats and other rodents are often an important reservoir and source of infection.

Canine Leptospirosis in dogs
Canine Leptospirosis in dogs

So in this article, We provided the complete details of Canine Leptospirosis in dogs and how they cause to dogs. It is very important to learn what were the main reasons behind the attack of this disease and how to treat it. Continue reading to know more information on this.

Leptospirosis in Dogs

In dogs, it is a serious disease, which can lead to death even when the proper treatment is performed. Canine leptospirosis occurs in different ways depending on the serotype of the bacterium. Its degree of aggressiveness and the health status of the dog.

Contagion of Canine Leptospirosis

The form of contagion is by direct contact with urine from sick animals or indirectly through water, soil and food of contaminated dogs. The conditions of heat and humidity favor the conservation and propagation of the bacteria. Therefore the disease is more frequent in the summer months and the beginning of autumn. When the dog eats, drinks or smells contaminated material, the bacteria penetrate the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes and multiply invading the blood. By this means they are distributed to the kidneys, the liver and other organs.

Contagion Of Canine Leptospirosis

The disease can develop at once or after a long incubation period, but the dog releases bacteria in its urine from the eighth day of infection. The incidence of canine leptospirosis is higher in males than in females. Since they go around sniffing the ground to mark their territory and that is why they are more exposed.

The manifestation of the disease is variable, being able to remain latent or to be very acute (it can cause death in 48 hrs.). With all the intermediate variants. When it appears, it is because the liver, kidneys or blood vessels are affected.

Symptoms of Leptospirosis in Dogs

The first clinical signs of canine leptospirosis are lack of appetite, high fever, and vomiting for two or three days. Later

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis,
  • Muscular pain,
  • Increased urination and thirst,
  • Necrotic lesions in the mouth,
  • Bleeding gums,
  • Jaundice (yellow color in the mucous membranes) and
  • A decrease in body temperature appear.

Symptoms for Leptospirosis In Dogs

The abdomen is very painful on palpation. There may be hemorrhages at the level of the mucous membranes and the skin. In the case of acute renal failure, there will be a decrease in urine instead of an increase. In blood liver enzymes, white blood cells and indicators of renal function are altered. The urinalysis is also abnormal.

Diagnose Leptospirosis in Dogs

To diagnose leptospirosis in dogs, clinical signs are taken into account, which is quite characteristic and blood and urine tests. You can also do a serological test that shows the presence of antibodies or culture of urine that detects the bacteria. However, this is a bacteria difficult to grow and this method can give false results.

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Treatment of Canine Leptospirosis in Dogs

Treatment should begin as soon as possible and consists of large doses of antibiotics like penicillin and streptomycin for 7 to 10 days in injectable form. In addition, you have to give serum, blood transfusions and support measures that are necessary for the dog to recover. If the antibiotics are not given correctly, the dog can remain as a carrier for a period ranging between 1 and 4 years and continue to eliminate bacteria in the urine.

Treatment for leptospirosis in dogs

It is very important to use disposable gloves and disinfect or destroy the elements used for healing and treatment to prevent the spread of canine leptospirosis to people. Once the disease has been overcome, we must be careful not to touch the dog’s urine until we know if it has not remained as a carrier.

Prevention of Leptospirosis in Dogs

The prevention of canine leptospirosis is to apply preventive vaccines along with other annual vaccines and eliminate rodent populations. In high-risk areas, your veterinarian may recommend you to apply the vaccine every six months. It is also important to control your dog in the street to avoid, as much as possible, smelling the urine of other animals. This way we can prevent the dog from getting attacked.


Hence, You have learned all about canine leptospirosis in dogs and how they cause in dogs. We also showed you how the symptoms of a dog with leptospirosis, the best treatment to cure leptospirosis in dogs and the prevention as well. We hope you like this article very much and it would help you a lot to learn more about dog diseases. Feel free to ask your questions and show your support by sharing this article. Stay tuned to Dogsfud for more awesome information on dogs.

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