Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

August Newsletter

Leptospirosis

It’s the time of year again to discuss Leptospirosis, a preventable but often misunderstood illness in dogs. “Lepto”, as it is often called, tends to be more common in cool moist weather (spring and fall). Here’s another reminder about this disease…

What to know about Lepto:

1) There is a vaccination available for dogs, so it is preventable in most cases. After the initial vaccine and booster 3 weeks later, then the vaccination is repeated annually.

2) Lepto causes many different clinical signs, so confirmed diagnosis requires a special test (we send urine and blood samples for testing to the laboratory at Kansas State). There is a rapid in-house test that, when positive, makes us more suspicious of the illness in unvaccinated dogs.

3) Lepto is contagious to people!

4) Lepto is spread in urine, so always use caution when handling your pet’s urine. Pets can be carriers without showing clinical signs.

5) We notice more Leptospirosis infections in cool, wet weather (spring and fall), although a pet can be infected any time.

6) Lepto is spread by wild animals as well, and can live in the environment for many years.

7) Signs of Lepto include some or all of the following: fever, lethargy, vomiting, increased urination, lack of appetite, or muscle pain. Many of these dogs are just “not doing right.” The bacteria affects liver and kidneys and can cause severe illness and even death in some cases.

Remember, there is a vaccination available! Please contact us if you have further questions.