Leptospirosis isn’t a word that rolls off your tongue, but it’s out there and something your dog can get very sick from, or even you, or especially a toddler.
Dr. Natalie Marks explains that lepto is a bacterial infection that lives in water, anything from a puddle to a river to a retention pond, anywhere there is water. And where wildlife – particularly rodents, like infected city rats, spread the illness by urinating in the water. Then an unprotected dog steps into the water, and licks himself or takes a lick from the tainted water.
Marks says people can potentially get sick too – but usually people don’t drink from puddles or retention ponds. However, if a dog with the lepto infection has an accident indoors, and a toddler wanders through it – then it’s possible the child will get sick by putting her hands to her mouth.
Some dogs barely exhibit a single symptom, other dogs may die from leptospirosis. It makes sense, where there is active lepto, to simply protect against the infection by vaccinating.