Canine Leptospirosis, or Lepto, is an infection, which develops due to at least four different species of Leptospira bacteria, or serovars. Experts have identified over twenty various serovars in existence, that could potentially harm a dog, along hundreds of pathogenic serovars in the environment.
There is an increase in the cases of Lepto viruses in dogs. It is due to the rise in better diagnostic methods in recent times, as more cases are grabbing the eyes. One should take note of the fact that in current years, such cases are rapidly increasing, because of the massive encroachment by humans into the natural habitats. As a result, the house pets are getting in contact with wild animals, who may harbor leptospirosis.
The microorganisms are transmitted through infected urine. The urine remains infected with the bacterias for up to six months. Our canine pals can also get the infection through getting in contact with infected soil when they have an actual cut on their body.
Dogs who frequents places like public pools, or sites that get maximum rainfall, or areas where snowfall happens over an extended period, as well as pets that frequently drink from roadside puddles and ponds.
Dogs with the mild infection will not show any signs. The young ones mostly suffer from the infection. Medical signs will depend on the overall health and age of the patient. Again, factors like the influence of the environment on the bacteria, and the virulence of the serovar virus also plays a vital role in disposing the symptoms. Symptoms will develop in the fourth and twelveth day after the animal gets exposed to the microorganisms. Signs include:
The virus mainly targets the liver and the kidneys, so as a result, Jaundice can attack the patient in the following weeks. The most common places of the condition are the white parts of the body. Jaundice can even indicate hepatitis, as a result of the severe destruction of the liver cells by the bacteria.
Clotting of the blood can also develop and can result in blood in the stool, and sudden and extensive bleeding from the mouth. In some rare cases, the condition can foray into respiratory distress and acute pulmonary hemorrhage.
Many patients with the condition, with time, recover, without the interference of any medication. An infected dog, carrying the viruses, can infect a healthy dog, through different mediums.
Dogs in the advanced stage of the disease, needs immediate hospitalization, to prevent long-term consequences. Severe patients will need doses of antibiotics and direct supportive care by the staffs. Attention will be given to correct things like vomiting and diarrhea in the patient.
The primary consideration will be to bring back the lost hydration and nutrition. Dogs with the milder variant of the condition can be taken care of at home. On the other hand, the owner has to make sure that the house is well cleaned.
Medicines like Aconitum napellus 12x, Mercurius Corrosivus 30c, Arsenicum album 30c, Crotalus Horridus 30c, Baptisia 30c, Phosphorus 30c, Lycopodium 1m, Berberis vulgaris 30c, Leptospirosis Nosode 30c are great options.
Leptospira bacterias thrive in warmer climates and love stagnant water. Prolonged interaction with wild creatures can also expose the dog to the condition. Thus, areas, where wild animals visit on a daily basis, needs strong avoidance. Infections are most prevalent during summer seasons, the early falls and immediately after flooding.
At home, the owner can reduce the risk of the infection by controlling the rodent inhabitants. If somebody resides in an area where the virus thrives massively, then one has to make sure that the pet stays away from ponds, puddles, etc.
As part of the prevention activity, the owner has to make sure that the dog carries a strong immune system. If a healthy dog suddenly disposes of signs like laziness, vomiting, urinating excessively, the owner has to call the vet and arrange tests for leptospirosis immediately.
There is a vaccine for leptospirosis, but a considerable population of vets is against the vaccine. It’s a weak vaccine and cannot act as a shield to fight off against the virus in the long run, especially, where we can see that there are around twenty different viruses. Taking the example of Chicago, where the vaccine is ineffective for the Sarovar viruses.
The vaccine is a bacterin, which means that it is made by killing active bacterias, which when given won't act effectively in comparison with other options. After giving the bacterin, an adjuvant is added, which catalyze fighting off the infection, and can have adverse reactions.
Some recent investigation says that the baterin, in fact, can help the bacteria to thrive significantly. The bacteria can cause kidney failure in senior dogs. It's unfortunate that a major portion of vets is still promoting the vaccine despite knowing the future adverse consequences.
Some experts even question the importance of vaccination in this case, as the condition is entirely treatable with modern medicines. Many recommend skipping the vaccination part for the disease.
As the condition is entirely treatable. The owner will just have to stay alert. Allow the pet to live a carefree life, and happy existence playing and banging around. To enable it to find and play in mucky creeks. Most importantly if the pet exhibits any of the signs, the owner will have to consult the vet immediately.