Traveling Dog Lady: A to Z Challenge: L is for Leptospirosis #atozchallenge

Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z Challenge: L is for Leptospirosis #atozchallenge

Please excuse errors or typos today.  I'm down with the flu for the past three days -- ruined my weekend.  I had planned to pre-write a bunch of blog posts, and finish my taxes.  Well, THAT didn't happen!  I had promised to write about Leptospirosis on day one of the challenge, because I had mentioned it in my post about Anaplasmosis.  Similar-sounding names, right.  Like Toxoplasmosis, too!  I'm not sure I'll write about that one, though.  Stay tuned.

Oh, before I start about Leptospirosis... I wanted to thank everyone for their comments on my various blog posts A to Z so far.  I was writing back to everyone, but then this illness slammed me and I have not been able to even use the computer, much less keep up with comments.  Every one has been encouraging, helpful and informative, and I thank you all.

Thankfully, we've never had to deal with leptospirosis here in our household, that we know of.  After learning more about it, I think it may be what afflicted poor Hobie last summer, although I have to question why they didn't test him for it (I think they DID -- so that means he didn't have it).  But even though we haven't dealt with it, we have begun getting our dogs vaccinated for this.  As you know, I'm not a huge fan of vaccines, but as with ticks, we have a high risk of "lepto" where we live.

Leptospirosis, sometimes called "lepto", is a bacterial disease, and it's zoonotic, which means it can be passed from your dog to you!!  Cats sometimes get it, too, but it's more common for dogs to get lepto.  It's caused by the bacterium leptospira and they like to live in warm and humid areas, such as stagnant pools of water, ponds, etc.

What's Hobie's favorite thing to do?
Swim in Thompson Pond, of course!

Leptospira are shed in wild animals' urine and then (for example) a dog might drink contaminated water, or may wade in water that gets into a wound on the dog's skin.  Since we live on a pond, and when we visit Cape Cod, we visit another pond, the dogs are exposed to the places behind the pond, like swamps and puddles of water that stand for long periods of time, and we have the gamut of wild animals around here from rodents, fisher cats, bobcats, coyotes, coywolves, bears, foxes, skunks, you name it.

Signs of "lepto" can include fever, joint or muscle pain, decrease in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, discharge from eyes or nose, frequent urination, yellowing (jaundice) of the gums, eyes or skin.

As with most bacterial infections, lepto is treated with antibiotics.

For more info on leptospirosis, please see these great articles:  <<<<  Best one!!

I am not a veterinarian, medical professional, canine or feline professional or specialist.  I have owned and parented nine dogs and more than 40 cats in my lifetime. I write this blog based on my own experiences as a pet owner/pet parent.  Please consult a professional if you need help with a canine or feline medical or behavior problem.  Thank you.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this informative blog post!
    I hope you are feeling better soon. I had the flu this past week, too, but am pretty much back to normal, now. I feel for you.


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