Summer time means adventure time! If you have a dog that loves going on fun expeditions and playing in the water, then it’s important to be aware of leptospirosis, which is transmitted through direct contact with contaminated urine, water or soil.
The bacteria in leptospirosis can survive in water or moist soil for a long time, sometimes for many months, and infected dogs can continue to shed bacteria in their urine for years. Dogs don’t even need to make contact with wildlife to get the disease—simply drinking water or ingesting dirt that’s contaminated with infected urine is enough to make your dog very sick.
Some dogs are at a higher risk of leptospirosis infection than other dogs. Dogs at higher risk include:
- Canines that hike, wade or swim in and/or near natural water
- Dogs that have frequent exposure to other dogs and dog urine at places like dog shows, dog parks and pet boarding facilities
- Dogs that travel widely and have contact with other dogs and/or other animals
We highly recommend having your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis before you spend more time outdoors this summer! Doing this will protect your best friend and save you from a major headache in case the worst happens.