Leptospirosis: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
and Your Pets
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can infect both people and animals. Humans can contract the disease from their pets through contact with infected urine. The bacteria is typically spread when infected animals urinate into lakes and streams, but can also be found in areas of standing water in your own backyard. This disease was not found often in our area in the past, but recently there have been suspected and confirmed cases in dogs in the tri-state area including Mercer County.
There are several risk factors to your pets contracting Leptospirosis. These include:
- swimming in lakes or streams
- drinking from puddles or other sources of standing water
- hiking and/or camping in the woods
- living in an area with abundant wildlife
The clinical signs of a dog with Leptospirosis infection are generally vague, but can include:
- increased water intake and urination
- decreased appetite
- kidney and/or liver failure
Fortunately, there is a Leptospirosis vaccine available for at-risk dogs. Please contact us at 609-888-3400 if you are interested in the vaccine and your veterinarian can help determine if it is appropriate for your pet.