Fast facts

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Leptospirosis bacteria can survive in water or soil for months.

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More common in warm climates and high rainfall, but can occur anywhere.

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Risk of permanent liver or kidney damage, and possible uveitis.

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Transmission

Leptospirosis is commonly associated with active, outdoor dogs. But transmission can happen anytime a dog comes into contact with infected areas such as:

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Urine

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Contaminated soil or water

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Shared surfaces like contaminated bedding

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Through exposure to peri-urban wildlife such as squirrels

Dogs at risk

In the past, leptospirosis was more commonly diagnosed in rural areas, but it has now been seen more in suburban and urban areas.2

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Factors that put dogs at higher risk:

Being outdoors in areas where infected rodents, wildlife or farm animals

Contact with wet environments

Drinking from natural water sources

Direct contact with infected animals

Clinical signs and symptoms

Initial symptoms for leptospirosis can include the list below, but in severe cases it can develop into severe lung disease, bleeding disorders, or excess fluid in chest or abdomen. Without treatment leptospirosis can lead to severe kidney or liver damage, and can be fatal.2

  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Increased thirst
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Jaundice

Protect dogs with Vanguard

See the canine vaccines proven to protect against leptospira.

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Immunity Toolbox

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Product Support

References :

1.30 Day Alert Maps. Pet Disease Alerts. https://petdiseasealerts.org/alerts-map/#/. Accessed November 14, 2021.

2.Schuller, et al (2015). European consensus statement on leptospirosis in dogs and cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice (2015) 56, 159–179 DOI:10.1111/jsap.12328. Picardeau, (2017). Virulence of the zoonotic agent of leptospirosis: still terra incognita? Nature Review, 15, doi:10.1038/nrmicro.2017.5.

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