With the arrival of hot weather the presence of puddles with stagnant water could be the ideal substratum for the diffusion of a serious and dangerous illness, not only for the dog, but also for us, the Leptospirosis.
The leptospirosis is caused by the spirocheta Leptospira Interrogans (a spiral shaped bacterium with a final hook it takes the name from).
Two hundred kinds exist, not all dangerous. The pathogens for the dog are three:
Jaundice – hemorrhagic
The infection occurs through direct or indirect contact of the leptospires left in the environment by infected animals: rats are the major breeding ground.
The danger is with contacts through urine, blood and placenta, but also with soil, water, infected cat litters.
The pathology can appear soon or after a latent period: the symptoms are high fever, exhaustion, vomit, breath difficulties and, above all, acute and very serious kidney insufficiency that may lead to death.
The therapy must be immediate with rehydrating solutions, specific antibiotics ( generally penicillin) and medicines against the kidney damage.
This serious pathology can avoided by vaccinating dogs, even twice a year ( every six months) above all the subjects more at risk.
You always have to ask to your veterinary doctor for the most “efficient” vaccine, useful for a new and dangerous strain.
Last warning: the leptospirosis can hit human beings as well through skin abrasion. Avoid to touch your dog without the protection of gloves if you suspect or are certain of the illness.