Leptospirosis in dogs is a serious illness caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, this infection can cause extensive organ damage and even lead to death in young animals. Therefore, it’s essential for pet parents to know how this disease spreads and what signs to watch out for in your pup.

Infection occurs when a dog comes into contact with water or soil that has been contaminated by the urine of an infected animal, either directly through direct contact or through bite wounds or other damaged skin. Other ways your pup might contract leptospirosis include eating infected tissue or coming in contact with other animals’ urine such as raccoons, sheep, deer, and rats.

Leptospirosis in dogs typically manifests within a few days or even weeks after exposure to infected urine. Signs include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme thirst.

Your dog may be showing signs of fatigue or weakness. They could have difficulty walking on stairs or jumping onto furniture.

When diagnosing leptospirosis in your dog, the initial step is to ask them many questions about their health, diet, and activities. This information will allow your veterinarian to determine how long they’ve been exposed to bacteria and where it occurred.

Next, your vet will perform a physical examination of your dog to assess their symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most frequent signs of this illness; however, your pup may also exhibit loss of appetite, weight loss, or lethargy.

Your vet will then order several tests to help confirm the diagnosis. These include a blood test and urine test to detect bacteria present in your dog’s system.

Once these tests are completed, your vet will discuss with you the treatment plan that is best for your pet. Typically, this plan involves antibiotics to rapidly clear up infection and fluid therapy to keep your pup hydrated while they recover.

If your dog is seriously ill, they may require hospitalization for a few days to recuperate. This will give them plenty of rest and the chance to stay away from other pets and children while receiving leptospirosis treatment.

When your dog is hospitalized for leptospirosis treatment, they’ll have access to all necessary equipment including medications, a tube for feeding and drinking, as well as other items that will aid in their recovery process.

Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for this infection. Usually, your dog will receive an antibiotic treatment of two weeks to completely clear away the infection and prevent its return.

Once the first antibiotic has been completed, a second one should typically be given for two to four weeks in order to help eliminate any remaining bacteria in your dog’s kidneys and liver.

Other treatments for leptospirosis in dogs may include drugs to treat vomiting and diarrhea, as well as medication to keep your pup hydrated. Your vet may suggest a gastric tube if they’re having difficulty eating.