What is it?
- A bacterial disease that can affect people and animals, including dogs.
- The bacteria that causes leptospirosis is spread in the urine of infected animals, including rodents, wildlife, pets, and livestock.
- People and dogs can be infected through contact with infected urine or water or wet soil contaminated with urine.
Symptoms in Dogs
- May vary and can include low energy, loss of appetite, fever, red eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases may result in liver or kidney failure and potentially death. Some dogs do not get sick.
Prevention for Dogs
- Talk with your veterinarian about vaccinating your pet for leptospirosis.
- Reduce your dog’s exposure to urine and urine-contaminated soil, water, grass, food, or bedding from infected animals (such as rodents, wildlife, farm animals, and other dogs).
- Limit contact with soil or water (drinking or swimming) that could be contaminated such as ponds, rivers, dog parks, and your own backyard.
- Limit contact with rodents, wildlife, livestock, or other dogs that may be infected.
Symptoms In People
- May vary and can include flu-like symptoms and may progress to severe illness resulting in liver or kidney failure and potentially death. Some people do not get sick.
Prevention for People
- Always wash your hands after coming in contact with sick dogs and their urine or body fluids.
- Wear gloves while cleaning up after your dog to avoid contact with their urine.
- Use a household antibacterial cleaning solution to clean up areas in your home if your dog urinates inside (such as a 1:10 bleach solution - 1 part bleach, 9 parts water). Urine-contaminated bedding and towels are disinfected through normal laundering.
- Designate an area for your dog to urinate that is away from areas where other people or dogs frequently go and away from areas of standing water.
If Your Dog is Diagnosed With Leptospirosis
Your dog should avoid contact with other dogs for 6 weeks after finishing antibiotic treatment. If you must take your dog to a boarding, grooming, or another facility where there might be other dogs, notify the facility ahead of time that your dog was recently diagnosed with leptospirosis so that they can take special precautions.
Give your dog the full course of antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian to decrease the amount of time their urine is infectious. If you have additional dogs in your household, discuss potential antibiotic treatment for them with your veterinarian to address potential infections without symptoms.
If you or a family member feel sick, please see your doctor and let them know your dog was recently diagnosed with leptospirosis.
For further information:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or visit www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis .