Leptospirosis is a disease that can affect multiple species – including dogs and humans. Once infection occurs, Leptospirosis has the potential to cause things such as liver failure, kidney failure, or even death if not treated. A vaccination is available for dogs that protects against some of the most common disease-causing subtypes of Leptospirosis.
Since wildlife tend to serve as reservoirs for the disease, the risk of coming into contact with Leptospirosis is increased for dogs who frequent the woods, hike, swim, drink from standing water, or come into contact with other areas where wildlife may frequent. Also, when assessing your dog’s risk, it is also important to consider the area in which you live. Is your neighborhood one that was recently developed (formerly wooded)? Even if you do not have woods, is there a forested area nearby from which wildlife could stray? If so – consider that wildlife could still be showing up in your yard!
Leptospirosis is not only a serious and potentially life-threatening disease for your dog, it is also a zoonotic disease (which means it can be transmitted to humans). This means it is even more important for you to assess your dog’s risk for coming into contact with the disease. Do you think your dog is at risk for coming into contact with Leptospirosis? If so, we encourage you to talk to us about vaccination. When initiating the vaccine, your dog needs an initial vaccine and then a booster vaccine 2 to 3 weeks later. After that, the vaccine must be boostered yearly to maintain immunity.
If you would like more information about Leptospirosis, contact us or visit our Leptospirosis information page.