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Leptosporosis warning Toronto Area

June 2nd, 2004, 03:08 PM
I just got the news from a neighbour who's friend (had) two GSD

They both contracted Lepto and being seniors they weren't able to fight it off with the treatment.

They live in the Don Mills area and the owner remembers an encounter with a raccoon in their yard that backs onto the Don River.

Both dogs have died!

Please be cautious and consider the lepto vaccination.

This was one of the only concerns with vaccinations I had for my Sadie. Unfortunately she had an awful reaction and this is one I can't give her any more. Which is very scarey!

So pls discuss with your vet and be careful!

June 2nd, 2004, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the warning. I wasn't sure what it was, but I went to find out -- here it is for anyone else that's confused.

June 2nd, 2004, 03:35 PM
Oh thank you I am so sorry I most certainly should explain what lepto is. Forgive me for assuming (duh @ moi)

Your dog does 'not' have to swim in contaminated ponds etc as this suggests. A dog can get it from direct contact with a racoon/skunk or from sniffing their urine for example.

For those of you who love to read and be informed, this explains it much better then I could:

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.

Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample.

How do people get leptospirosis?

Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person.

How long is it between the time of exposure and when people become sick?

The time between a person's exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil's disease.

The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

Can leptospirosis be prevented?

The risk of acquiring leptospirosis can be greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine.
Protective clothing or footwear should be worn by those exposed to contaminated water or soil because of their job or recreational activities.

How is it transmitted?

Leptosporosis is transmitted by contact with infected urine or stagnant puddles contaminated with infected urine. Wildlife, such as rodents, raccoons and skunks ALSO sea otters!

a little more:

When is my dog most likely to be exposed?
The most common time for infection to occur is during the fall
(September to November). Bacteria that are shed in the urine by wildlife can survive in the environment for up to 6 weeks under moist conditions. In the fall of 2000, at least 63 cases were diagnosed in Southwestern Ontario. The second most common time for leptospirosis infection is March/April. Even within the last six months, there have been several cases diagnosed in the London area.
Prevention and vaccination
prevent dogs from drinking outdoor water (including water bowls kept outside, puddles, lakes)
recommended for dogs who live in urban or rural areas where there is a large population of raccoons, skunks, or other small rodents
the most recent vaccine provides protection against the serovars or types of Leptospira which are currently most common: L pomona and L. grippotyphosa.
Treatment of leptospirosis
hospitalization with intravenous fluids and antibiotics
continue at home on oral antibiotics for several weeks
may suffer permanent kidney or liver damage
if diagnosed early, the success rate for treatment is approximately 85%.
Where are Leptospira organisms found?
Usually, wildlife species serve as the reservoir or maintenance hosts These hosts transmit disease effectively because they are chronically infected. but generally do not suffer from the disease themselves. The maintenance hosts include: raccoons, skunks, opossums, and small rodents.

The organism replicates in epithelial tissues including the kidney tubules and the lining of blood vessels. Inflammation and severe tissue injury result. In addition, the bacteria can produce toxins which can harm the liver. Most infections results in varying degrees of kidney failure, liver inflammation/toxicity. Inflammation of blood vessels and muscle inflammation. Since the organism is shed in the urine, an infected dog may pose a serious health threat to its owners

June 2nd, 2004, 03:51 PM
Luba that is such a terrible disease,Poor dogs i feel realy bad for the owners of the 2 dogs :(