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Leptospirosis

We have recently seen and treated two dogs with leptospirosis infections. Both dogs are thankfully doing very well but these cases highlight the importance of awareness of this disease.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease with several strains causing severe liver and kidney damage. It can be spread by rats, dogs, horses and pigs in their urine and is common around water courses both in towns and countryside alike. Leptospirosis can be transmitted to people, sometimes with fatal consequences. The signs of leptospirosis in dogs can be very variable, and in some cases dogs don’t show any obvious signs at all. When symptoms do occur they can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and jaundice (yellow tinged gums).

Leptospirosis is treatable, but it is much safer to ensure your dog is vaccinated to give protection. ThisĀ year we have introduced a new and more advanced dog vaccine. This provides broader protection for Leptospirosis covering four, rather than the usual two, strains of this widespread disease. To upgrade the Leptospirosis protection your pet will need an L4 Upgrade injection 3-4 weeks after the usual booster to establish immunity. After this a single combined booster each year will maintain the complete protection. You will be offered the choice to do this at your booster appointment. If you have any questions about our new vaccination protocol please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff.

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