We want to make you aware of a bacterial infection called leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is prevalent throughout the world and 5 to 7 serovars, or strains, of this bacteria have been found in the United States. It is a zoonotic disease, which means it is potentially transferable and contagious to humans.
There has been a recent re-emergence of this disease in our area. Where it was previously believed to be only a disease of large, sporting, and swimming dogs due to it's presence in water and transmission by urine, we have recently been diagnosing it in smaller dogs as well. The organism is shed in the urine of infected mammals and is thought to be carried in our area mostly by deer and rodents.
The symptoms are vague and nonspecific and can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, elevated liver or kidney enzymes, and even ocular signs. Not all of these signs occur in every animal affected, and no two animals may be affected in the same way.
It is treated with a two week course of antibiotics and is treatable, and curable, if diagnosed in the early stages.
There has been a significant increase in the number of reported Leptospirosis cases in Wilmington so we are recommending that all of our canine patients be vaccinated for it, even those that do not board, get groomed, or socialize with other dogs. The vaccine is safe but there is a higher reported incidence of allergic reactions to this vaccine. Therefore, we are pretreating our patients with Benadryl prior to vaccinating them.
Once your dog receives the initial vaccination, they will need a second booster vaccination in three to four weeks. Once the initial and booster vaccinations are completed then your pet will be protected for a year and we will administer vaccination on an annual basis.
We will be requiring all dogs that are groomed, boarded, dropped off for care or come to doggy day care at our facility be updated with this vaccine by December 1, 2015, but we are also strongly recommending that our entire canine population be current on this vaccination due to the seriousness of the infection and it's potential spread to humans. Cats cannot be infected experimentally or naturally so they do not need to be vaccinated.
If your pet has received a physical exam or vaccination exam at Atlantic Animal Hospital within the past 60 days, then please click here for a coupon to cover the price of the initial vaccination exam required for the first leptospirosis vaccination.
We appreciate your trust in Atlantic Animal Hospital and Pet Care Resort and strive to keep you informed of any health concerns for your pets. More information regarding Leptospirosis can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website. If you have any questions regarding Leptospirosis, or any other pet care concern, please do not hesitate to contact us at 910-256-2624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.