Do you know what Leptospirosis is? How do you know if your dog is showing signs of the rapidly spreading disease in San Diego dogs? We are on a mission not just to get your dogs healthy, but to spread awareness on all aspects of dog health. Please read our public service alert on Lepto and how you can do your part to keep your dog safe.
According to the CDC, our pets are most at risk of contracting Lepto through sources of standing water. Puddles, and especially communal water bowls are the biggest culprit. While public water bowls seem safe, during a Lepto outbreak such as the one San Diego is in the midst of, PLEASE keep your dog away. Bring your own water specifically for your dog, and your dog alone. Symptoms of Leptospirosis are:
- Lack of Appetite
- Muscle aches and pains
So how do we treat what is being dubbed “Doggie COVID”? Leptospirosis is treatable with antibiotics. If your dog starts treatment early, organ damage may be less severe and recovery will be much quicker. If your dog is diagnosed later, treatments such as dialysis and IV may be required. Similar to COVID, exposure time to the bacteria and beginning stage of Lepto is usually 5 to 14 days. Each dog is different and in some cases, signs of the disease is quicker but can last upwards of 30 days.
Although the vaccine is not 100%, do have your dog vaccinated to avoid potential of contracting the disease. While humans can contract Lepto from their dog, this is preventable by not handling urine, blood or infected tissues before treatment. Always wear protective gloves while handling your infected pet, and wash hands thoroughly.
As we approach the holiday season, many people board their dog when traveling. If you have not yet heard from your local boarding facility, please make sure to ask their protocol for handling the Leptospirosis outbreak. Your dog is family, and taking these precautions to keep your dog healthy, is a must. We need to do our part in the dog community and knowing how to slow and stop the spread is essential.