Because 2020 is the year where everything falls apart, San Diego animals (including residents of Encinitas and Carlsbad) are now facing a bacterial disease that traditionally hasn’t been prevalent in our area: Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a bacterial disease that is spread mainly through contact with infected urine of wildlife, especially rodents. Dogs come in contact directly through their mouth or can also become infected through a cut or abrasion on the bottom of their foot as they are walking on urine soaked soil, cement, etc.
If they become infected, they typically act sick with signs such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and inappetance. This can then progress to liver and kidney failure and sometimes death without proper supportive care. The other problem with this disease is that it not only affects dogs, it also can be transmitted from your dog directly to you. So this is a very big public health issue in addition to being potentially life threatening for your dog. NB: cat owners – you are in the clear. Cats don’t appear to be especially susceptible to this disease.
The good news – there is a vaccine. This vaccine has been on the market for a long time, we have just never recommended it because the incidence of Lepto in San Diego was so low. That has now changed and we now recommend it for any dog that leaves the house. The vaccine is a series of 2 injections given 2-4 weeks apart, then annually. The most common side effects of the vaccine are soreness, lethargy, trembling, or inappetance for 24 hours.
If you have any questions and/or would like to get your pet vaccinated, please feel free to call or schedule online and we can get your pet protected.