Fact or Fiction: Avoiding lakes & streams keeps your dog safe from leptospirosis
Published March 11, 2020
That is fiction!
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that dogs may be exposed to in wet conditions and fresh water, including rivers, streams, and lakes, and while it helps to avoid this disease by being mindful of where you choose to enjoy waterside activities, your pet (and you) may be at risk in other environments too.
You and your dog may be exposed to leptospirosis by roaming in the same places as infected animals, including walking trails, dog parks, or even your yard if potentially infected animals such as racoons or rodents could be in the area.
If left untreated, leptospirosis can lead to fatal kidney and/or liver failure in both pets and people. It is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from infected pets to people.
Leptospirosis vaccines are not commonly available for humans, so the best ways to prevent contracting the disease is to avoid swimming in water where wild animals may have been, wearing proper footwear to prevent contact with contaminated soil, and by vaccinating your dog.
Because backyard wildlife can spread the disease, our veterinarians recommend that all dogs should be vaccinated against leptospirosis. Even if a dog prefers to spend most of the day indoors, most dogs go outside several times daily.
Walk-in to your local Essentials PetCare clinic for a quick visit before you and your furry friend set off to enjoy the outdoors this spring!