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Leptospirosis

Signs

Bleeding

Severe bleeding which can involve the lungs is a very serious complication

Altered urination

Increased urine loss or a failure to produce urine can be serious consequences of severe kidney disease

Fever, jaundice and abdominal pain

Infected dogs may show a range of signs signs that relate to severe liver disease

Bleeding

Severe bleeding which can involve the lungs is a very serious complication

Density of Reports

The map shows the density of confirmed cases of leptospirosis for the past three years.

This is not necessarily an indication of what areas the disease is more prevalent in, as the data captured by these labs is likely to be a small proportion of the suspected number of dogs that might be affected by the disease.

This is, however, an indication that this disease is present in the UK and if vaccination rates drop, we are likely to see an increase in the number of dogs being affected by this dangerous disease.

Speak to your vet about how to make sure your dog is protected against leptospirosis

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How is it spread? 

After ingestion of the bacteria, the leptospires enter the blood stream via the mucous membranes. This is followed by a rapid replication in several tissues such as the kidney, liver and spleen. The bacteria is then excreted via the animal’s urine back into the environment.

Prevention and Control

Prevention through vaccination is far better than cure not least when the disease is potentially fatal, hard to diagnose and treat. There are two available lepotspirosis vaccines, that offer protection against the different lepto strains circulating in the UK. Your vet will be able to advise the most appropriate for your dog.

 It is important to re-vaccinate your dog on a yearly basis against this disease to continue the optimum level of protection - studies have shown that protection starts to wane after 12 months. Expert advice by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association is that leptospirosis should be considered core for vaccination of dogs in the United Kingdom. Based on a consideration of breed and lifestyle factors in dogs that have developed the disease, leptospirosis vaccination is usually recommended for all UK dogs. Please contact your vet regarding further advice on vaccination against leptospirosis.