After a recent case of human Leptospirosis infection in Jersey here is why we vaccinate against this disease.
Leptospirosis is the only bacterial disease included in dogs’ vaccine protocols.
Several forms of the Leptospira bacterium exist, but all cause liver and kidney disease and often failure of these organs.
This disease is a zoonosis, which means that humans can become infected too. In human medicine leptospirosis is known as ‘Weil’s disease’ and there is no vaccination available for humans.
Leptospirosis bacteria can survive for a long time in damp or wet surroundings (eg puddles or near rivers) and, as they are also transmitted by small mammals like mice or voles, dogs are potentially at risk on every walk.
Many dogs can survive with intensive treatment, but may be left with liver or kidney damage.
As infected dogs shed large amounts of Leptospira with their urine, owners are at risk of catching the disease from an infected pet.