Continued Reports of the Deadly Leptospirosis Bacteria Have Locals on High Alert: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Pet

March 23, 2017 2:26 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In a rare but deadly case last month, a New York City resident died after contracting the deadly leptospirosis bacterial disease. What medical professionals thought only affected hunting dogs or dogs in rural communities seems to be spreading to all types of dogs of varying lifestyles in both urban and rural areas. Unfortunately, the majority of the newly reported cases are still coming from Phoenix and the Maricopa County area.

At Christown Animal Hospital, your local veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ, we continue to be on high alert and are proactively doing everything we can to keep our clients and their pets safe. As cases continue to be reported countywide, we want to encourage our pet owners to continue to be aware of the risk of contracting leptospirosis and what you can do to protect your pets and your family. Here’s what you need to know.

Risk factors

Leptospirosis bacteria thrive in warm, humid areas and can often be found in stagnant water such as ponds, or even large puddles or open containers of water found outdoors. Wild animals and dogs that have contracted the disease can also spread it through their urine and other bodily fluids. Once the bacteria enter the body, it can quickly spread to many types of tissues, but it typically enters the kidneys and can be spread through the urine for several months. Any dog exposed to water or urine containing the bacteria is likely to contract the disease.


The best way to protect your pet from leptospirosis is to avoid risks, but should your dog contract the disease, early detection is key. To that end, below is a list of symptoms you should be on the watch for:

  • Fever
  • Joint or muscle pain (usually seen as a reluctance to move)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge coming from the nose and/or eyes
  • Frequent urination
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the gums, eyes and skin)

If your pet should show any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to bring them in to your local veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better our chances of fighting it.


If your dog is diagnosed with leptospirosis, antibiotics will be administered to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics are administered in two stages: stage one treats the initial infection, while stage two combats the shedding of bacteria in the urine. Keep in mind that the earlier the treatment is started, the better the outcome for your pet.

At Christown Animal Hospital, we are dedicated to the continued safety and wellbeing of our animal friends. To that end, we would like to remind all pet owners in the area to stay alert and be proactive about protecting their pets from the deadly leptospirosis disease. If you have any concerns or want to learn more about what you can do to protect your pet, we urge you to call us today to schedule an appointment with a trusted veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ.

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