Leptospirosis In Animals

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs and cats. The bacteria that causes it are spread via the urine of infected pets and wild mammals, which remains infective for up to six months. Pets who spend a lot of time in the water, or live in rainy areas, are at increased risk, making Oregon a state with higher than average leptospirosis cases.

This disease primarily affects the kidneys and liver, with symptoms begin appearing four to 12 days after exposure. Indicators include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and diarrhea. In severe cases, the whites of the eyes turn yellow and spontaneous bleeding can occur.

Fortunately, due to the prevalence of the disease in Oregon, Newberg Veterinary Hospital veterinarian are specifically trained to identify, diagnose and treat leptospirosis. Diagnosis is confirmed by testing liver and kidney function, fluorescent antibody staining and blood tests. Standard treatment includes a strong antibiotic regimen to kill the bacteria, as well as other prescription medications to manage symptoms.

Because leptospirosis can be transmitted from animals to humans, for your family’s and the public’s safety, it is critical that all potential cases be examined as soon as possible. If you suspect your cat or dog may be infected, please contact your Newberg Veterinary Hospital veterinarian immediately.