Leptospirosis, often referred to as Lepto, is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be passed on to humans. It is a bacterial infection that is shed in the urine of infected animals, commonly seen in skunks, opossums, raccoons, mice or rural livestock. The infected urine will taint water and soil. It is through drinking or exposing mucous membranes or open wounds to these sources that puts our Clumber Spaniels at risk for the infection.
Signs- Signs of infection can vary. The most common symptoms are abdominal discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. Dogs can also show other nonspecific flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle weakness, and disorientation.
Treatment- Early antibiotic therapy with doxycycline or penicillin is effective. Supportive care is dependent on the severity of the infection and may include IV fluids, critical care monitoring, or dialysis for renal failure.
Prevention- Reduce your Clumber Spaniel’s exposure. Avoid stagnant or slow moving water. Do not allow your Clumber Spaniel to drink from standing water or swim in bodies of water that may be contaminated.
Clumber Spaniels who are in field training are at higher risk of exposure. Please discuss with your veterinarian the benefits of the leptospirosis vaccination. While it does not cover every serovar, it does cover 4 of the most common bacteria types.
Please note: This article is written to provide general information only. If your Clumber Spaniel is showing signs of illness, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Stay well, stay safe!