Don't Let Leptospirosis Lead to the Death of Your Dog

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted from animal to animal through contact with urine. Cats usually show good resistance to the disease, but dogs that catch leptospirosis can get sick and even die. Because leptospirosis is particularly common in warm, moist climates like ours around Memphis, Cordova, Germantown, East Memphis, and Bartlett, our veterinarian in Memphis at Petvax wants you to be fully informed of this danger to canine health.


Leptospirosis enters your dog's skin through damaged skin or mucous membranes.

Leptospirosis enters the body through tiny cuts, scratches, and abrasions of the skin or the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth when they come in contact with contaminated urine. The parasite finds its way to the kidneys and eyes, where it evades the immune system and is eventually shed in the urine to infect another animal.

Leptospirosis may cause few or no symptoms.

Cats develop antibodies to leptospirosis, but usually do not show any symptoms of the disease. Their urine, however, can infect dogs. Dogs that get leptospirosis may develop red, irritated eyes, and have trouble breathing. They may show signs of muscle pain, or they may just want to hide and be left alone.

You can help prevent leptospirosis.

The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets from leptospirosis is to make sure they don't have contact with animals you don't know. This means that you should not let your pets wander where skunks, possums, raccoons, and squirrels leave their urine and scat. You shouldn't let your dogs wander in barnyard settings, because cows and horses carry the disease. It's OK to have playtime with other pets, but it's best if you know that those pets have been vaccinated against the disease.

There's a vaccine to protect your pets from leptospirosis.

If you have a country dog or a dog that spends a lot of time around horses and cows, it’s important to prevent leptospirosis by vaccination. Your vet probably won't recommend the vaccine if you keep your dog mostly indoors or confined to your own yard, but some dogs definitely need leptospirosis prevention.

For all your pet care needs, Petvax is your vet.

Petvax is your affordable animal hospital for Memphis, Cordova, Germantown, East Memphis, and Bartlett. Call us at (901 )654-3110 or contact us online to make your appointment today! Our office is located at 3650 Southwind Park Cove, Memphis, TN 38125.

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