Potentially deadly disease, Leptospirosis, detected in multiple dogs

Massachusetts

A potentially deadly disease affecting animals and humans has been detected in multiple dogs in Boston. 

Leptospirosis or Lepto is a bacterial disease that can cause kidney damage, liver failure and ultimately, can kill you or your pet. 

Multiple dogs in Boston are receiving emergency treatment for Lepto.

Veterinarians at the Northampton Veterinary Clinic said Lepto is most commonly spread during the late summer and early fall, and particularly after heavy rains.

In our area, the bacteria is most commonly spread through the urine of animals like raccoons and opossums, but can also be spread by rats and mice.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes trembling can be signs your dog has Lepto, and your vet can do a blood test to confirm. 

“Treatment is rather long hospitalizations, live IV antibiotics, it’s quite intensive, and it can be fatal. Probably in the thousands, whereas vaccinations are around $35 annually,” said Jessica Dias at the Northampton Veterinary Clinic.

The bacteria can be deadly in dogs and humans, so if you suspect your pet may have Lepto, you should wear gloves if you have to come in contact with their urine. 

It is not uncommon for dogs in our area to receive the vaccine while at the vet, but you should check with your doctor to make sure they’ve received their annual dose. 

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