Leptospirosis in the GTA

Leptospirosis in the GTA

Livy in water

Ontario saw an enormous increase in cases of leptospirosis in dogs in 2017. Unfortunately, one of our clinic’s own patients fell seriously ill and was hospitalized at the specialist referral hospital, where he was diagnosed with having THREE different strains of Leptospira bacteria! Miraculously, our patient survived but with some lasting kidney impairment, which his amazing family is doing all they can to help him improve. Sadly, most cases of leptospirosis are either fatal or leave profoundly devastating kidney or liver issues that significantly decrease length and quality of life for our pets. Frighteningly, as if it couldn’t get any worse, leptospirosis can be transmitted from our dogs to us humans!


What is leptospirosis? We’ve covered it in detail here. Why did leptospirosis rates increase so much? Unfortunately, we don’t have all the answers. Some experts speculate pet owners aren’t vaccinating against the disease as much. Dr. Scott Weese of Ontario Veterinary College’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses and the Centre for Disease Control say the best way to avoid an infection is by vaccinating our dogs. Because Leptospira bacteria is found in contaminated soil and infected urine from a variety of wildlife, dogs that enjoy swimming or drinking from puddles are the most at risk. With this in mind, our last leptospirosis-positive patient was what his family called a “sidewalk dog”, so virtually all dogs that go outside at any capacity are technically at risk. If you have any concerns about whether your precious pets are at risk, please call us now!

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