English Springer Spaniel Health

Leptospirosis - Deadly Disease Rains Down in the Fall

By Louise Louis

Fall through December is the prime season for leptospirosis, a disease spread by wild and domestic animals. This disease can attack a dog's kidneys, liver or blood vessels with serious and even fatal consequences.

The problem is that this is the rainy season and rains wash the spiral-shaped leptospires into ponds and other bodies of water while the water temperature encourages the bacteria to survive.

Dogs can contact the disease directly from other animals or by contact with soil or water containing the bacteria thanks to contaminated urine or poop, Louise Louis of www.ToyBreeds.com stated.

Getting outdoors with your dog can be a great experience but it exposes your dog to this bacterial disease. "Outdoors" especially includes dog parks which I hate. Many owners do not have their dogs vaccinated and many, many owners are irresponsible about picking up dog poop.

Contacting the disease isn't necessarily fatal. Common symptoms include fever, loss of appetites, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and reddening of the eye area. Some dogs manage to clear the infection through their systems with minimal problems.

Other dogs, however, can suffer kidney or liver failure if the disease goes untreated. Tufts Veterinary School reports that about one in five dogs die from the disease.

There is a vaccination for leptospirosis although it covers only four strains of the disease. Recently, veterinarians are seeing increasing incidences of the disease as well as new strains of the disease that vaccines don't protect a gainst. It's estimated that more than 200 strains exist worldwide.

Be aware that humans can contact leptospirosis so it is important to protect your dog as well as yourself. In addition to talking to your vet about vaccinating your dog, here are a few tips to prevent disease.

1. Avoid high risk areas such as dog parks.

2. Don't let your dog drink from ponds, lakes and other public water areas. Give him tap water and take containers with you for him when you do on hikes.

3. Clean up your own yard, both of your dog's poop and any leavings from other animals that might wander into your yard. Remember animals includes rodents, raccoons, skunks, moles as well as other domestic animals.

4. Wash your dogs after handling your dog and anything that might have his urine or poop on it.

5. Clean potentially infected surfaces with an antibacterial solution or a homemade mixture of bleach and water.

6. Most important - if you suspect your dog may be sick or infected, get him to a vet as quickly as possible. The earlier the treatment, the better the outcome.

Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and creator of the popular website on small dogs, http://www.ToyBreeds.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Louise_Louis

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