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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Old Friends,

I've been reading, but not posting very much...but now I have an issue I need help with.

Landon (chocolate male, 1.5 years old), was sprayed full on in his face by a skunk 5 days ago.

He threw up on an empty stomach (yellow foamy bile), yesterday morning before breakfast. Fed him breakfast a little later on after he seemed OK. Activity level all fine. He kept his supper down as well.

Threw up this morning again before breakfast (yellow foamy bile). Kept his breakfast down, but became gaggy and foamy at the mouth early this afternoon.

I took him to the vet. His temp was on the high end of normal (102.9), but everything looked good.

The vet was a bit concerned about Canine Leptospirosis, but I thought that was only passed on to dogs through puddles, or stagnant water.

He kept his supper down tonight, but did become very gaggy again.

The vet wants me to try giving him 20 mg a day of Pepcid AC to see if his tummy calms, and to watch for signs of extreme thirst, more vomitting, rise of temp., etc. I may feed boiled chicken and rice and see if it helps.

Could a dog develop lepto from getting sprayed in the face by a skunk??

Thanks for any info you can give me.

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11,445 Posts
I found this...

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.

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Also Suspicious of Skunk Spray & Leptospirosis

I know that this thread is months old, but I wanted to share my similar experience. My 8- or 9-yo (shelter dog!) black lab mix, Lilly, suddenly went into kidney failure 1 month after being sprayed by a skunk full-on in the face on August 28, 2009. The stuff got into her eyes, nose, mouth, and ears VERY forcefully. She became lethargic almost immediately, which I chalked up to the trauma of the event and the subsequent million baths. She didn't start throwing up until 3 weeks later. At that point, the vet gave me some oral antibiotics in the event she had picked up something from the skunk, but she couldn't keep these down. She got a little better, but then by a week later she was still vomiting (she never had diarrhea), so I took her back to the vet. She had had elevated kidney metabolites back in the spring when we lived in Boulder, CO (which has TONS of leptospirosis), but had had ZERO symptoms of anything since that time except some occasional shaking, which I thought was due to pain from her arthritis. This time when they ran blood, her BUN, creatinine, and amylase were all so high that the machine couldn't measure them! That vet told me she maybe had days to live. I immediately took her to the ER vet, and they hooked her up to IV fluids for 4 days. They told me she was in end-stage kidney failure and sent her home with me so that I could make her comfortable with subcutaneous fluids until she died.

It just never made sense to me that it could happen so suddenly out of the blue, especially since she had been better than ever a couple of weeks previously. She had more energy than she has ever had and was going on really long walks in the mountains several times a day. I guess I never accepted that she was going to die, although people were kindly telling me I had to.

Well, lucky for us, the ER vets had added an antibiotic to the IV fluid because it was felt that this could help with pancreatitis (which she also had, as shown by the high amylase). I feel strongly that this saved her life, even though that particular antibiotic isn't *supposed* to treat leptospirosis. The day I brought her home, she started improving and has improved every day since. She never stopped eating or drinking and peeing and pooping relatively normally. The stinky uremia breath that had nearly knocked me over when she was in the hospital became much much milder. I told everyone this, but I think people thought it was wishful thinking on my part. Then, on Monday, October 5, I took her back to the ER vet to recheck her blood and all of the values had come down by HALF. The vet gave her amoxicillin, which is the drug of choice for leptospirosis. I kept insisting that this is what she had, but no studies have yet linked skunk SPRAY with the disease (only their urine). We are up here in the mountains of North Carolina with a million skunks, raccoons, and every other critter known to carry the stuff. It has also been a very wet, rainy summer. All conditions perfect for lepto.

She has now been on the antibiotics for 3.5 days and is still showing signs of improvement. She is pretty sleepy and a little weak and I sometimes have to help her up on furniture and into the car, but she is doing remarkably well. I just cannot believe that 2 weeks ago tomorrow, they were telling me she probably wouldn't come home. Everyone, including the vets, is calling her the miracle dog.

I just wanted to share my story in case anybody else has a dog with sudden, unexplained elevations in kidney metabolites. I didn't opt for a leptospirosis titer, because I had already spent well over a thousand dollars on treatment, instead I just had them put her on antibiotics for it because all signs pointed to it. I would advise anybody in this situation not to give up and to keep pushing if you believe your dog was exposed to this nasty disease, regardless of what the literature says!
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