Leptospirosis is a common disease that affects dogs, rodents and other species, including man. It is endemic in the UK. In man it is known as Weils disease and in all species it can result in a potentially fatal liver or kidney failure. It is treatable if diagnosed early but its symptoms are very similar to many other diseases so this can be difficult. Treatment can be very long – six weeks or more antibiotics.
It is spread by infected urine, very commonly this is rat urine, often found in stagnant water. Rats and mice can carry the infection showing very little sign of illness themselves. Infected dogs can shed the bacteria in their urine and be a source of infection to people.
Many of the things we vaccinate against (Parvovirus and Distemper for example) have immunity that lasts for several years and at Withy Grove we only vaccinate against these diseases every 3 years, but Leptospirosis immunity from vaccination only lasts for 12 months so annual boosters are vital. Routine vaccination has covered the two commonest strains for years, but recently two new strains have emerged and they are getting more common. Vaccinations have improved to cover the new strains and at Withy Grove we now have the newest vaccine brand to cover all four strains, thus providing your dog, and the people around him or her, with the best protection available.