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Leptospirosis in Niagara

September 17, 2011


Leptospirosis or  “Lepto”  for short is a bacteria that can be responsible for serious  infections in both humans and animals.   It is passed in the urine of infected wildlife which often contaminates  grass, soil and waterbodies such as creeks, streams, ditches, puddles and lakes.  In the Niagara Region animals that can carry Leptospirosis include- Racoons, rats, mice and moles, rabbits, cows, sheep, raccoons, possums, and skunks.  Dogs may lick the urine of an infected animal from wet grass, soil or drink from a contaminated puddle.   Symptoms of “Lepto” can be varied as it can affect multiple areas of the body such as the Liver, Kidney, eye,  cardiovascular system and brain.  The disease can cause serious infection and even death if not identified and treated promptly.  It is also dangerous because it can be transferred to humans from infected dogs.  If you are concerned about leptospirosis and your dog you can speak with your local Welland veterinarian by contacting the Main West Animal Hospital at (905) 735-7877

At our Welland animal hospital we commonly vaccinate dogs to protect them from leptospirosis.  The peak transmission time for “Lepto “ in  Welland, Port Colborne, Pelham, Wainfleet, and the rest of Niagara  is October and November.  This disease can affect dogs year round but has the greatest occurrence in the fall.