Bacterial disease sickening dogs in Colorado can spread to humans, vet says

A bacterial disease that can spread to folks is reportedly sickening dogs in Colorado, a veterinarian in the state these days acknowledged.

Dr. Laura Russell, a chief emergency doctor at Colorado Veterinary Specialist & Animal ER in Littleton, knowledgeable KMGH-TV that the clinic has dealt with six dogs for leptospirosis to this point this 12 months. On widespread, the flexibility sees one or two situations, she acknowledged.

It’s not clear what’s behind the reported enhance.


Leptospirosis, in accordance to PetMD, is an infection of bacterial spirochetes, “which dogs acquire when subspecies of the Leptospira interrogans penetrate the skin and spread through the body by way of the bloodstream.”

“Two of the most commonly seen members of this subspecies are the L. grippotyphosa and L. Pomona bacteria. Spirochetes are spiral, or corkscrew-shaped bacteria that infiltrate the system by burrowing into the skin,” it supplies.

After a canine is contaminated, the microorganism spread by the use of the animal’s physique, multiplying in the liver, kidneys, eyes and totally different areas of the physique.

It’s not clear what’s behind the alleged enhance in situations in one Colorado metropolis.

Russell acknowledged certainly one of many first indicators of leptospirosis in dogs is elevated thirst.

“One of the first indicators of leptospirosis is that they’re consuming a ton of water, after which they exit and urinate, and customarily they’ve urinary accidents on account of they’re consuming a whole lot of water,” she acknowledged, together with the whites of a canine’s eyes will flip a yellow color when the infection has progressed.

Other indicators can embody fever, sore muscle tissues, shivering, weak level, lack of urge for meals, vomiting, and runny nostril, amongst assorted totally different indicators. Sometimes, nonetheless, the contaminated animal would not current any indicators.

Dogs often determine up the microorganism in muddy areas with stagnant flooring water and “closely irrigated” pastures.

“I’ve seen some pretty terrifying leptospirosis situations this 12 months. I’m vaccinating my dogs this 12 months for it.”

— Dr. Laura Russell

Leptospirosis is zoonotic, which implies it can spread to folks. Humans can contract the disease by the use of contact with the urine or physique fluids — excluding saliva — from contaminated animals, or contact with contaminated water, soil or meals.

“The microorganism can enter the physique by way of pores and skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nostrils, or mouth), particularly if the pores and skin are damaged from a lower or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can additionally trigger an infection,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In folks, indicators embody extreme fever, issues, muscle aches, abdomen ache, jaundice, and vomiting, amongst totally different indicators in the first a part of an infection. In the second, (if a second half occurs), indicators are fairly extra excessive and can lead to kidney failure, liver failure or meningitis, in accordance with the CDC.


The infection is dealt with by antibiotics in every folks and animal. A leptospirosis vaccine can even be accessible for dogs.

“I’ve seen some pretty terrifying leptospirosis cases this year. I’m vaccinating my dogs this year for it,” acknowledged Russell.

The info comes after higher than a dozen dogs in one Utah metropolis had been contaminated with the disease earlier this 12 months.

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