Leptospirosis – A Current Threat in Our Area

Nov 19, 2014 @ 02:36 PM — by Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital

A disease called Leptospirosis started to become a serious problem in our area several years ago and is a continuing health risk today. The incidence of this disease has been steadily rising and has been the topic of several local newspaper articles of late. We are concerned that some people may not have received our previous mailings regarding this disease or for other reasons are uninformed or have chosen not to vaccinate their dogs. IS YOUR DOG CURRENTLY VACCINATED FOR LEPTOSPIROSIS? 

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is spread in the urine of wild mammals such as raccoons, skunks, rats, mice, moles, opossums, etc. In a recent seminar on Leptospirosis a speaker indicated that in the northeast 33% of raccoons and 15% of skunks show exposure to Leptospirosis types that infect dogs. These animals may urinate in your area at night and when dogs smell an unusual odor, they often lick the area, allowing the bacteria to enter their systems. Bacteria can also infect through unbroken skin. Most cases occur in the late Summer or Fall in the Northeast. Lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, and vomiting are the most common signs. Some dogs develop life threatening disease in a very short time and require hospitalization and very aggressive therapy. Not all dogs survive. Cats can also be infected, but such cases are relatively rare and there is no vaccine for cats as there is for dogs. The infection also infects people. 

For more information regarding Leptospirosis, please refer to the following links:

From the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/

From the American Animal Hospital Association: http://secure.aahanet.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?site=petsmatter&webcode=pmcontent&id=PMV2I3&article=fad86886-4aea-4fd0-8cb2-4d1c77098e59

From an article in The Record: http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/pets/a-disease-from-contaminated-water-1.1046673

During November and December, in partnership with our vendors, we are able to offer Leptospirosis Vaccine Clinics at a reduced fee of $63.14, which includes the fee for the vaccine and the Benadryl injection. We want to help give your pet every chance to prevent this life threatening disease, so in order to vaccinate every dog in a timely fashion, there will be no fee for the patient visit and abbreviated exam. The normal fee is $126.13, which is a savings of approximately $60 (amount may vary slightly due to the weight and dose your dog requires for the accompanying Benadryl injection). If your dog has never received the vaccine, there is an initial series of two, two weeks apart, and the discounted fee would be charged each time. After the initial series, the vaccine is given annually. The doctor attending the clinic will not be able to address any other issues during this time. If your pet has any other needs, we will ask you to schedule another appointment at a different time or with a different doctor.

THE BEST PROTECTION IS PREVENTION. Please call our office today to schedule an appointment with a doctor in one of our Leptospirosis Vaccine Clinics to begin the vaccination process and protect you and your dog from the heartbreak and expense of this dreadful disease. If you are uncertain of your pet’s vaccine status, you can call our office or log on to Pet Portals from our website.

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