If your dog becomes ill, it can be worrying. There are many serious diseases your dog can come in contact with, including leptospirosis. Let’s take a closer look at this disease, the symptoms, and treatment options available at our animal hospital, Dessau Veterinary Clinic, in Austin.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria called spirochetes. The bacteria enters the body through the bloodstream and has the ability to spread quite quickly. Leptospirosis commonly replicates in the liver, central nervous system, kidneys, reproductive system, and eyes. For animals that have an infected liver or kidney, this disease can cause permanent damage and even become fatal if left untreated.

How Do Animals Get Leptospirosis?

Most dogs get leptospirosis when the bacteria enters the bloodstream. The bacteria lives in wet, tropical climates and is commonly found around muddy shores and in marshy areas. Places with stagnant water are prime locations for the bacteria to breed. Dogs typically contract leptospirosis from contaminated soil or infected water. Transmission of the disease is also possible if your pet comes in contact with the urine of an infected animal.

What Are Symptoms of Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis has several symptoms that can sometimes be difficult to detect in your dog. General lethargy, weakness, and lack of appetite are good indicators of the disease. Your dog may have a sudden fever with shivering and stiff muscles. Gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea, can also be a symptom. Look for yellowing of the eyes or swollen membranes. As the disease progresses, your dog's lymph nodes can become swollen, and your dog may have difficulty breathing.

How Do You Prevent Leptospirosis?

Luckily, leptospirosis and its symptoms can be mitigated or fully preventable with regular vaccinations. Leptospirosis vaccine is often recommended by veterinarians if your dog is regularly outside.

How Do You Treat Leptospirosis?

Depending on how far advanced the disease is, there may be various treatment options. Making sure your dog is stabilized with proper hydration is the first step to curing the disease. Often, antibiotics are prescribed for an extended period of time to eliminate the disease-causing bacteria from the body.

Our Veterinarian Can Help

If you are looking for a veterinarian in Austin, Dessau Veterinary Clinic may be the right choice for you. The staff at our animal hospital is well versed in treating cats and dogs with leptospirosis. Time is of the essence when your pet has leptospirosis, so call 512-339-3177 today to schedule an appointment.

Has your dog ever suffered from leptospirosis? Share your experience in the comments.


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7:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-6:00 pm


7:00 am-12:00 pm

2:30 pm-6:00 pm


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2:30 pm-6:00 pm


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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Campbell and all her coworkers are awesome! Mary remembers how each of my cats react when they come in to visit and even though they are very scared her and Dr. Campbell do everything they can to make it go as smoothly as possible for them. Even if I move out of the Dessau area I will continue to bring my cats here!"
    Izzy Roebuck
  • "Doc Campbell and crew show love and understanding for all their patients. We have used their services since 2005 for our fur family."
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