Leptospirosis in dogs: causes, symptoms, treatment

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that occurs in all mammals. In dogs, this disease is particularly affected by representatives of breeds with loose (raw) constitution - shar pei, English mastiff , masto-neapolitano, bloodhound , boxer , basset hound . If the dog is ill with leptospirosis, then its owner is in danger.


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):
  • pathogenic, parasitizing within mammals.

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

  • Weil-Vasiliev's disease - icteric leptospirosis;
  • an aerial view or an "aquatic fever".

The last form of leptospirosis dog can catch by damaging the skin and mucous membranes (wounds, abrasions). Through the entrance gate of infection - damage to the epidermis, the pathogenic microorganism penetrates into the bed of the lymphatic drain, then into the systemic blood stream that carries it to the organs, provoking a common defeat of the animal's body. Leptospira affect the kidneys, liver, circulatory system. sad doggy on a white background

The jaundice form of leptospirosis proceeds more easily. The defeat of the body's systems in the case of Weil-Vasiliev's disease can lead to the death of the dog. Pathogenic spirochaetes penetrate into the dog's organism alimentary (fecal-oral), water and contact way.

Symptoms and signs of the disease

Leptospirosis is characterized by acute onset, wavy current, fever, hemorrhage (bleeding in the tissue), jaundice, intoxication, progressive renal insufficiency and signs of aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the brain membranes).

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

  • sudden increase in temperature, fever;
  • a decrease in appetite, up to the total refusal of food;
  • thirst;
  • dark urine with impurities of blood;
  • there are difficulties with urination;
  • putrid odor from the mouth;
  • Diarrhea with traces of blood in stool.

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

  • the temperature drops to normal values;
  • on the mucous in the mouth appear hemorrhage (hemorrhage) and ulcers;
  • signs of hemorrhages and ulcers in the intestines (bloody diarrhea), liver (yellowing of the eye sclera, mucous mouth), kidneys (blood in the urine);
  • Painful palpation of the abdomen is marked by soreness, especially in the liver region;
  • soreness with percussion (tapping) in the kidney area.

In young dogs and puppies of week-old age and up to 2 years, leptospirosis can proceed with lightning speed. All phases of development of pathology take place within 2 hours, maximum - 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 disease course, the symptoms become less pronounced, the wave form of their manifestations is noted. The chronic form of the disease is quite rare. Symptoms of chronic leptospirosis in dogs are manifested as:

  • anemia - mucous become pale, the dog is listless, apathetic;
  • on the skin there is a rash and ulceration;
  • the animal moults, bald patches can form, the coat becomes dry, loses its shine;
  • at palpation the lymph nodes in the neck and in the groin are noticeably enlarged.

If a bitch is infected with leptospirosis, then as a rule spontaneous 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 is already able to diagnose pathology with a visual examination, but to confirm it, it is necessary to conduct a number of studies.

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Methods for diagnosing leptospirosis in dogs

Leptospira are visible under a microscope in biological fluids - blood serum and urine, therefore the main diagnostic method is the study of blood and urine:

  • 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.

To determine the degree of lesion of the parenchymal organs, ultrasound may be required. Analyzes are carried out for the differentiation of leptospirosis from pathologies with similar symptoms - infectious hepatitis, plague carnivorous plague, trichomoniasis, listeriosis, etc. After clarifying the diagnosis, treatment is selected depending on the stage and severity of the pathology course.

Disease therapy in dogs

Treatment of leptospirosis is complex:

  • Immediate impact on the pathogen: antiviral therapy with antibiotics and antiviral drugs. It is recommended the introduction of a special serum with destroyed boiling leptospira.
  • Symptomatic therapy is based on the treatment of pathological changes in the cardiovascular system (vitamins C, B, drugs Rutin, Cardiamine, Riboxin). Therapy of renal and hepatic insufficiency (Karsil, Galsten) is carried out. Appointed drugs for detoxification of the body, antihistamine. Restore the water-salt balance by the introduction of saline solutions.
  • Supportive therapy consists in the introduction of vitamin-mineral complexes and the intake of herbal decoctions with choleretic effect.

An animal who has been ill with leptospirosis, to the end of life should observe a strict diet. Treatment of leptospirosis - a long and not always effective. According to statistics, up to 50% of infected dogs die from infection. Therefore, in order to prevent the disease, preventive measures should be followed.

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Prevention of pathology

The main method of preventing leptospirosis is the timely vaccination of the animal . Puppies at the age of 2-4 months make a shot of the vaccine twice during this period. Adult animals must be vaccinated once a year. The peak of infection occurs in warmer periods of the year, so it is better to immunize preventively - in the winter. sad pug lies

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

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