The weather is getting warmer and this is when your dogs can get lepto, we almost lost Aries about 5 years ago from it and my mom lost two dogs from this disease, don't let your dogs drink still water that's been sitting on the ground from rainfall, ponds ect., and always watch for symptoms. Remember, just because your dogs have the vaccine doesn't mean the can't get it, there are about 5 strains of it and there aren't vaccines for all 5. I noticed that there are a lot of dogs on here throwing up and not feeling good, it took my vet forever to diagnose Aries and that's how we almost lost him, just would rather be safe than sorry by posting this, I know this is long, but it's worth reading, may save a dogs life!!!
Here's a link with more info:
Leptospirosis, a contagious disease affecting both animals and humans and spread by infection with a bacterial pathogen called Leptospira, may result in chronic liver and kidney disease and fatality in the dog. Over the past 30 years, preventative vaccination against two of the most common Leptospires, L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae, have nearly eradicated clinical disease associated with these strains among the inoculated population. Though not without potential side effects associated with allergic reactions to inoculant in a small number of dogs, the risks of not vaccinating for Leptospirosis once far outweighed risks of vaccine-reaction. In recent years, however, new outbreaks of Leptospirosis have been reported in the population of vaccinated dogs. Clinical evidence now suggests that these new cases are associated with the once, less-common Leptospires for which current vaccines do not protect against. In light of these findings, the process of vaccinating dogs with the current Leptospirosis vaccines is being seriously questioned.
The following article provides a detailed examination of infectious Leptospirosis in the canine and the recent clinical findings and misconceptions surrounding the controversy of using current vaccines to immunize dogs.
The Leptospira Organism. Leptospires are known as "aquatic spirochetes": they thrive in water and appear long and helical with a characteristic hook on one or both ends. These organisms are divided into two species, Leptospira biflexa and Leptospira interogans, the latter of which is pathogenic in animals and humans. L. interogans is divided into strains, or serovars, based upon the types of antigens (cell-surface markers against which the infected host will make antibodies) on their surface. These cell surface antigens provide little cross-immunity against one serovar and the next; that is, a dog that has developed immunity to one strain by either previous infection or vaccination will not be able to immunologically fend-off an infection of a different, subsequent strain. Despite this, however, these antigens may be cross-reactive in serological testing; that is, diagnostic testing to differentiate one serovar infection from another may lead to false-positive results because some antigens from one strain may have similarities to antigens from another strain.
Serovar prevalence. As recent as the 1980s, L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. canicola were identified as the most prevalent serovars causing Leptospirosis in the canine. By the 1990s, however, an increased incidence of L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona was observed in conjunction with a resurgence of Leptospirosis disease suggesting a changing trend in the epidemiology of this disease. It is speculated that these changes in serovar prevalence are related to two primary factors that may strongly influence the epizootiology of Leptospira serovars. These factors are: 1) preventative vaccination has all but eradicated clinical disease in the domestic dog and 2) there has been an increased migration of wildlife, for which serovar infections with L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona are most prevalent, into suburban areas.
Modes of Disease Transmission. Leptospira thrive in spring and autumn when wet soil conditions and moderate temperatures support their otherwise poor environmental survivability. Infection by contact with infected urine or ingestion of urine-contaminated water is the most common means of transmission of the disease. Less common modes of infection include transmittance of the organisms during breeding, gestation, or through the membranes of the eyes, abrasions or bite wounds, or ingestion of the flesh from infected animals such as rats, raccoons, skunks or opossums. A serovar infects the dog as a maintenance host, using the dog to carry out most, if not all of the organism's life cycle. Under these conditions, the kidneys of the infected dog become the "breeding" grounds for the serovar, some of which will be shed in the urine where they may gain access to other dogs and continue the infectious cycle.
Symptoms of disease. During the first 4-12 days following infection with Leptospira, the dog may experience sudden symptoms of fever (103-105oF), depression, vomiting, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis, and generalized pain. Within 2 days of the onset of these primary symptoms, body temperature may drop suddenly and there may be a noticeable increase in thirst. A definite change in the color of the dog's urine and/or jaundice (icterus) is often noticed and may be the only indication of disease. Color intensity of the urine may vary from lemon to deep orange. Additionally, frequent urination and subsequent dehydration (uremia) are consistent with invasion of the kidney tubule cells by the Leptospira organism and usually present within a few days of the primary symptoms. In advanced cases of infection, profound depression, difficulty breathing, muscular tremors, bloody vomitus and feces are often observed as the infection progresses to include the liver, gastrointestinal system and other organs. Course and severity of the disease is often dependent upon the serovar responsible for the infection. Serovars associated with liver infection and symptoms of urine discoloration and/or jaundice (icterus), elevation of liver enzymes, and gastrointestinal symptoms include L. icterohaemorrhagiae and grippotyphosa. The serovar grippotyphosa is also associated with symptoms of renal failure as is the serovar pomona.
Diagnosis. Given the nonspecific symptoms often associated with Leptospira infection, definitive diagnosis must be based on the combination of symptoms and results from laboratory and serologic tests. Despite this, however, Leptospirosis should be among the primary suspected causes of illness in dogs presenting with sudden-onset kidney dysfunction. Laboratory testing of blood chemistry and urine provide evidence of abnormalities of components of the blood, elevation in liver enzymes, electrolyte imbalances, and active urinary sediments all consistent with vascular, liver, and kidney disease associated with Leptospira infection. The most commonly used serologic test includes the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), which titrates reactivity of antibodies in the patient's serum with live leptospires. Limitations to MAT include false-negative results early in the course of the disease, reduced positive response in vaccinated dogs that may be harboring chronic infection, and cross-reactivity excluding the ability to distinguish between serovars. Other serological tests including the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and microcapsular agglutination test (MCAT) are more specific, reducing false-positives associated with vaccinal responses and providing earlier detection by monitoring immunoglobulins specific for immune response to infection (IgM), respectively.
Treatment. Antibiotic therapy in the early course of Leptospirosis infection is efficient in shortening duration of the disease, reducing the time period for risks of contagion, and decreasing the severity of liver and kidney damage. In advanced cases, supportive therapy to compensate for abnormal blood, kidney and liver function may be required. Therapy to restore urine production, kidney filtration and blood flow are essential to reversing kidney failure. In cases of severe liver disease, a decrease in clotting factors in the blood may lead to bleeding disorders requiring treatment by transfusion. Since Leptospirosis poses a risk of contagion to other animals and to humans, special precautions must be taken to prevent transmission of Leptospira from the dog to other animals and human companions or caretakers. All blood, urine, and tissues from a dog suspected or determined to have Leptospirosis must be handled as biologically hazardous waste. Infected dogs should be quarantined and areas of contamination should be washed and disinfected with an iodine-based solution. It is important to note that even after treatment and control of the active disease state, dogs continue to shed serovar in their urine and therefore, may pose an infectious risk to other animals and to humans up to 3 months following infection.
Prognosis. Fatalities as a direct result of Leptospirosis do not usually exceed 10% and usually occur 5-10 days after initial onset of the disease. Death arising from secondary complications associated with progressive kidney and liver damage are common but may not occur for long periods following the initial disease.
Prevention. Commercial vaccines are available and protect against clinical disease associated with the L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. canicola serovars. Inoculation does not, however, prevent infection and development of a carrier state whereby the dog will be clinically asymptomatic for disease yet provide a source of contagion through the shedding of serovars in its urine. Additionally, vaccinating against these specific serovars does not afford protection against other serovars
Your dog doesn't have to drink the water. The dogs here that had Lepto picked it up by walking across a lawn then licking their feet afterwards.
♣ Laura ♣
That's true...forgot about that.
Regina - thanks for the reminder.
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
Very informative Regina. Thanks.
Thanks, we got the first shot yesterday.
Thanks for the info.
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
Thanks for the information. Jazzy had a severe reaction to it in her last puppy shot and the vet would not give it to her at her 1 year shots. Would this make her more susceptible to getting it?
Thanks for the heads up. Fortunately, Tal does not lick his feetbut I have caught him wanting to drink standing water...and I have never let him. And it's also good to know the symptoms just in case.