What is it? Why should I vaccinate my pet?
Leptospirosis is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Leptospira. It is transmitted in the urine of wild animals such as skunks, rats, opossums, raccoon and deer. It is found in stagnant water and moist soil. If your pet drinks from that stagnant water source or walks through it and licks their paws, they can become infected.
Leptospira can penetrate the mucous membranes of the lining of the nose, mouth and eyelids. It can also enter your pet through scratches and cuts. It can affect both the liver and the kidneys. It can be fatal if not detected/diagnosed early.
Eight to 10 days after exposure your pet can become ill. Some cases may be mild but recovery time varies. If they are severely infected, they become jaundiced (yellow tinge to whites of the eyes, gums and skin), vomiting, lethargy, fever, depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination. Be careful as this disease is contagious to you and is transmitted in the urine.
In Oklahoma most veterinarians consider a vaccination for Leptospirosis a core vaccine. That means that it is common enough in the state to vaccinate for it annually. Some people think that if they live in town, they don’t need to vaccinate but wildlife is every where in Oklahoma.
More information can be found in this article provided by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.