Welcome to the Lepto home page. Lepto is the short name of Leptospira, or Leptospirosis, a diseases that dogs can get from other dogs and wildlife. Lepto can be passed on to humans as Weil's disease.
Leptospirosis is a group of zoonoses (transferable to humans) with many synonyms that refer to the area where the disease was contracted or the host or the symptoms of the profession or activity of the patient.
Leptospirosis was first described by Adolf Weil in 1886, but the causal relationship with leptospira is adopted only in 1908, when an outbreak of Weil's disease among miners in Japan. Since then Leptospira isolated from almost any mammalian species as well as some amphibians and reptiles on all continents of the world (except Antarctica).
Leptospira bacteria are corkscrew-like and many types (called serovars) are known.
Cause of infection: Dogs become infected with Leptospires (an organism that thrives in water) by consuming urine contaminated water or contact with infected urine - such as sniffing or rolling in wet grass contaminated with lepto from another animal's urine. Leptospires use a dog’s kidneys to breed and continue living out their life cycle.
Symptoms include: fever, vomiting, depression, loss of appetite, generalised pain and conjunctivitis. Later symptoms include: a drop in temperature, increased thirst, change in urine colour, jaundice, frequent urination, dehydration, difficulty breathing, muscular tremors, vomiting and bloody faeces. Antibiotics can help shorten the length of the disease and reduce potential organ damage if caught in early stages. In more severe cases, kidney filtration and blood transfusion may be necessary. About 10% of Leptospirosis cases result in death from secondary complications.
Vaccination: The dog's immune system creates antibodies to protect the dog from illness. The vaccine does not prevent the dog from getting lepto, but helps the dog to combat the bacteria.
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