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
The map shows the relative proportion of PCR-confirmed canine leptospirosis cases by region, submitted to SAVSNET-participating veterinary diagnostic laboratories over the last 3 years. Other tests such as MAT test are more commonly undertaken but can be difficult to interpret and therefore have been excluded. Grey regions are areas where no data is available. Recognition of the disease often depends on in-depth diagnostic testing of appropriate cases and more. The data underlying these charts is supplied by SAVSNET at the University of Liverpool (www.liverpool.ac.uk/savsnet). All charts and interpretations are those of MSD Animal Health.
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.