"LEPTO" Is A Dangerous Bacterial Disease For Humans and Animals
Dogs become infected by leptospires when abraded skin comes into contact with infected urine or with water contaminated with infected urine. Bite wounds, reproductive secretions, and even consumption of infected tissues can transmit this infection. The organisms quickly spread through the bloodstream leading to fever, joint pain, and general malaise that can last up to a week. The organism settles in the kidneys and begins to reproduce, leading to further inflammation and then kidney failure. Depending on the type of leptospire involved, other organ failure (especially liver) can be expected as well. Make no mistake, leptospirosis is a life-threatening disease with worldwide significance. People can be infected, too.
Typical symptoms and clinical picture: Fever, depression, loss of appetite,
joint pain, nausea, excessive drinking, jaundice, excess bleeding brought
on by low platelet count. Recovered animals can shed leptospires for
months after recovery. Younger animals tend to be more severely affected
than older animals. Most cases are diagnosed between July and December
and involve large breed dogs in rural or suburban environments. There
may be a genetic predisposition for infection in German Shepherd dogs.
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