Leptospirosis in dogs: Symptoms, treatment and all you want to know

Published on Jul 16, 2022 08:02 PM IST

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease and can be transmitted to humans as well as animals. All you want to know about leptospirosis symptoms in dogs.

Dogs typically contract leptospirosis through direct contact with urine of an infected animal(Pixabay)
Dogs typically contract leptospirosis through direct contact with urine of an infected animal(Pixabay)

Leptospirosis is among the many monsoon illnesses that may affect your dog. Caused by bacteria leptospira that survive in humid conditions, it is important to protect your pet from playing in muddy puddles during the rainy season, in order to protect them from the deadly infection. Dogs typically contract leptospirosis through direct contact with urine of an infected animal, and open wounds or sores may increase the chances of them getting infected with the disease. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease and can be transmitted to humans as well as animals. (Also read: Is your pet ageing? Here are ways to take care of your senior pet)

"So basically, they can either be infected and not yet show symptoms or they may have complications and have severe illness. Dogs once infected might have mild or no illnesses or if the disease is severe they may have fever, sore muscles, reluctance to move with stiffness in muscles and legs and have a still gait, shivering and lack of appetite, increase thirst and urination and rapid dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea. And they may have dark gums and yellowness of skin may be present with swelling of the mucus membrane," says Dr Sulaiman Ladhani, Consulting Chest Physician, MD Chest and Tuberculosis, Masina Hospital, Mumbai elaborating the symptoms.

Pet parents should act fast if they find the above-mentioned symptoms in their pooch and take them to a veterinarian who may run a diagnosis and start immediate treatment with fluids as per need for the dehydration caused.

While taking care of your furry friends, it is important for pet owners to protect themselves and their family from the infection too considering the disease may be passed on to humans too.

Dr Ladhani suggests follow precautions for pet parents:

- Ideally when the dog is being treated they should be kept away from other pets and children and glove should be worn while handling the dog in any way or handling the fluid and waste products from the dog.

- Areas where the dog has urinated or vomited should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.

- Wear gloves and masks while handling them or during the process and ensure that it is disposed properly.

- Try talking to the veterinarian and see if the leptospirosis has affected the dog and recommended procedures should be followed for the same

"Appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed by the veterinarian depending upon the stage of infection. So, home care is very important," adds the expert.

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