Leptospirosis in dogs: causes, symptoms, treatment

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease found in all mammals. In dogs, this disease is especially susceptible to representatives of breeds with a loose (crude) constitution - sharpei, English mastiff , mastino-Neapolitan, bloodhound , boxer , basset hound . If a dog is ill with leptospirosis, then its owner is in danger.


The causative agent and causes of the disease

Pathology in dogs is caused by anaerobic facultative microbes - leptospira. A huge number of strains of these microorganisms are conventionally divided into 2 classes:

  • saprophytes living in the environment (soil, water bodies):
  • pathogenic, parasitic inside mammals.

It is the second type (Leptospira interrogans) of microorganisms that causes leptospirosis in dogs. The causative agent is extremely sensitive to environmental conditions - dies under the influence of UV radiation, high temperature, when treated with disinfectants, shifting the pH of the environment in the acidic direction. However, in stagnant water, in marshy and moist soil, leptospira can be in a viable state for a long time, which plays an important role in the infection of animals. This pathology has 2 forms:

  • Weil-Vasiliev disease - icteric leptospirosis;
  • anicteric appearance or "water fever".

The dog can become infected with leptospirosis through damage to the skin and mucous membrane (wounds, abrasions). Through the entrance gate of infection - damage to the epidermis, the pathogenic microorganism enters the channel of the lymph flow, then into the systemic bloodstream that carries it to the organs, causing a general damage to the animal's body. Leptospira affect the kidneys, liver, and circulatory system. sad dog on a white background

An anicteric form of leptospirosis is easier. The defeat of the body systems with Weil-Vasiliev’s disease can lead to the death of the dog. Pathogenic spirochetes penetrate the dog's body by alimentary (fecal-oral), water and contact routes.

Symptoms and signs of the disease

Leptospirosis is characterized by acute onset, wave-like course, fever, hemorrhage (hemorrhage in the tissue), jaundice, intoxication, progressive renal failure and signs of aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the meninges).

The incubation period - from the beginning of the introduction of the infectious agent to the onset of the first symptoms, usually takes 7-10 days. Life features of leptospira affect the onset of symptoms. The increase in symptoms corresponds to parasitism in the organ, the subsidence of symptoms - the release of the pathogen into the bloodstream. Symptoms of the acute course of the disease in a dog are:

  • sudden increase in temperature, fever;
  • decreased appetite, up to a complete rejection of food;
  • thirst;
  • dark urine with blood;
  • difficulty urinating;
  • putrid smell from the mouth;
  • diarrhea with traces of blood in the stool.

The progression of the disease is characterized by signs of severe liver damage and intoxication:

  • the temperature drops to normal values;
  • hemorrhages (hemorrhages) and ulcers appear on the mucous membrane in the oral cavity;
  • signs of hemorrhage and ulceration in the intestines (bloody diarrhea), liver (yellowing of the sclera of the eyes, mucous mouth), kidneys (blood in the urine);
  • palpation of the abdomen marked pain, especially in the liver;
  • soreness with percussion (tapping) in the kidneys.

In young dogs and puppies of one week old and up to 2 years old, leptospirosis can proceed with lightning speed. All phases of the development of pathology pass within 2 hours, a maximum of 2 days. Often the owner of the dog simply does not have time to take action, and the animal dies.

In the subacute phase of the course of the disease, the symptoms become less pronounced, a wave-like appearance of their manifestations is noted. The chronic form of the disease is quite rare. Symptoms of chronic leptospirosis in dogs manifest as:

  • anemia - the mucous membranes become pale, the dog is lethargic, lethargic;
  • a rash and ulceration appears on the skin;
  • the animal molts, bald spots may form, the coat becomes dry, loses its luster;
  • when palpating, there is a noticeable increase in lymph nodes in the neck and groin.

If a puppy female is ill with leptospirosis, then, as a rule, a miscarriage occurs or a weakened, non-viable offspring is born. The diagnosis of the disease can only be made by a veterinarian. An experienced specialist, even at a visual examination, is able to diagnose a pathology, but in order to confirm it, it is necessary to conduct a number of studies.

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Methods for diagnosing leptospirosis in dogs

Leptospira can be seen under a microscope in biological fluids - blood serum and urine, so the main diagnostic method is blood and urine tests:

  • determination of the presence of microorganisms in liquids;
  • PCR testing for the presence of antigens and antibodies;
  • serological studies;
  • determination of the level of bilirubin, protein in the urine, etc.

An ultrasound scan may be required to determine the extent of damage to the parenchymal organs. Analyzes are carried out to differentiate leptospirosis from pathologies with similar symptoms - infectious hepatitis, carnivore plague, trichomoniasis, listeriosis, etc. After the diagnosis is clarified, treatment is selected depending on the stage and severity of the pathology.

Dog Disease Therapy

Treatment of leptospirosis occurs in a complex:

  • Direct impact on the pathogen: antiviral therapy with antibiotics and antiviral drugs. The introduction of special serum with leptospirae destroyed by boiling is recommended.
  • Symptomatic therapy is based on the treatment of pathological changes in the cardiovascular system (vitamins C, B, preparations Rutin, Cardiamine, Riboxin). Renal and liver failure therapy (Carsil, Galstena) is carried out. Prescribed drugs for detoxification of the body, antihistamine therapy. Restore the water-salt balance by the introduction of saline.
  • Supportive therapy consists in the introduction of vitamin-mineral complexes and taking decoctions of herbs with a choleretic effect.

An animal that has had leptospirosis must adhere to a strict diet for the rest of its life. Leptospirosis treatment is long and not always effective. According to statistics, up to 50% of sick dogs die from infection. Therefore, to prevent the disease, preventive measures should be followed.

See also: how to do an ultrasound of a dog .

Pathology prevention

The main method for preventing leptospirosis is timely vaccination of the animal . Puppies aged 2-4 months are given an injection of the vaccine twice during this period. Adult animals need to be vaccinated once a year. The peak of infection occurs in the warm periods of the year, so immunization is best done proactively in the winter. sad pug lies

If the owner carefully and carefully treats his pet, then the risk of contracting leptospirosis is minimal, and the course of the pathology is easier, with a good prognosis.

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