An introduction to canine leptospirosis

Canine leptospirosis is a very serious bacterial disease. It can affect a wide range of organs and tissue. The disease damage your dog’s liver, kidney, or blood vessels. The eyes can also experience inflammation which can result in blindness.


The bacteria that causes this disease invades the body through mucous membranes. This includes the mouth, eyes, and lesions in the skin. Most dogs become infected when they come into contact with infected urine or water that contains infected urine. The bacteria can also invade through bite wounds, during breeding, or if your dog consumes an infected animal.


Symptoms of canine leptospirosis start to appear within two weeks of infection. Your dog may experience loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and depression. It is also common for him to develop conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye.

As the disease progresses, your dog will experience increased thirst and urination. This may lead to dehydration. In its advanced stages, the disease causes bloody feces and vomit, deep depression, and muscle tremors. The bacteria also eventually ends up in the kidneys which leads to kidney failure.


Since canine leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria, it can be treated with antibiotics. Penicillin will stop the bacteria from reproducing. As mentioned earlier, the kidneys are commonly damaged. Therefore, your dog may have to receive intravenous fluids. You will also need to decontaminate your home to make sure there is no infected urine still present.


This disease is easily preventable. Dogs usually receive the vaccination at the same time they receive the vaccine for distemper. You should be aware that this shot can cause hives or facial swelling. In some cases, your dog may suffer a potentially life-threatening reaction to the shot.