Leptospirosis is an infection that affects the blood, liver, and kidneys of dogs. This disease is spread by carrier rodents, like rats, but once a dog gets infected he will be a carrier of the disease himself and will infect others as well. The most common way to acquire the disease, however, is through ingestion of the infected urine of the carrier. Other means of transmission are through contact with damaged or very thin skin.
Leptospirosis does not show any sign or symptom at all. If this happens, then the bacteria has already been defeated by the dog’s immune system. Sometimes, though, it can defeat your dog’s natural body system. There are three main groups or types of this disease: renal (affects the kidneys), icteric (affects the liver), and hemorrhagic (affects the blood and causes bleeding.)
The Hemorrhagic type starts with symptoms such as fever, appetite-loss, and lethargy. Your dog’s eyes and mouth will begin to develop small hemorrhages and soon will have extreme bloody vomits and diarrhea. This type of leptospirosis is often fatal. The Icteric type starts almost the same way as the hemorrhagic type involving fever, appetite loss, and lethargy. The eyes and the mouth will start to appear yellowish, like one that is affected with jaundice. At time, your dog’s skin will also appear yellowish, too. The Renal type, exhibits the same kind of symptoms as the former two. But, soon enough, this will lead to failure of the kidneys.
All the preceding types of leptospirosis can be cured and treated and all of them, too, can be fatal for your dog. Dogs who survive Renal Leptospirosis are going to suffer from chronic diseases of the kidney for most of their lives.
In a few bullets, here are some of the symptoms that indicate the Leptospirosis infection:
These may include:
• A blemished skin rash.
• Muddle or disorientation
• Fits or annexations
• Severe fever
• Photophobia, or sensitivity to light
• Difficulties with physical movements
• Stiff neck
• Difficulty to speak
• Unsettled stomach
• Aggressive and sometimes unusual behavior