Location: West Sussex, UK
Joined: Sep 2010
I used to take my ferrets ratting. Afterwards they would all be bathed and any with bites would be put on a course of antibotics, just for safety.
Weil's Disease in Dogs
Commonly known as Weil's Disease or Fort Bragg Fever (Leptospirosis), it is an infectious disease that affects dogs, cats, humans and other animals.
It damages the liver and kidneys of its victims. Some strains of the disease are increasing. These particular strains are being seen more by vets, while those most commonly vaccinated against seem to be decreasing.
Bacteria infects the dogs. Some bacteria cause renal disease in dogs, while others, depending upon their type, cause liver disease.
The dog gets the bacteria from coming in contact with urine or other bodily fluids of an infected i.e. rats or by coming in contact with contaminated water, food or bedding. Infections are more common in summer and fall because freezing temperatures generally destroy the bacteria.
The symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs can vary. For most owners, the first noticeable symptoms are anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain, diarrhoea and bloody urine. Puppies and large outdoors dogs are more likely to get it.
In certain cases, leptospirosis can cause an infection that leads to death quickly. High fevers, shivering, painful muscles, vomiting, dehydration and shock are often seen in these instances. In less severe cases, symptoms may include cough, tonsillitis, conjunctivitis and rhinitis. Chronic renal failure and jaundice from liver damage may also occur.
Leptospirosis can be transmitted from your dog to YOU
, meaning it is a Zoonotic disease.
If your dog has leptospirosis, you should wear protective gloves when treating it. I suggest you wear protective gloves when cleaning your dog if it has been in contact with anything that could carry leptospirosis. Your house should also be disinfected following a diagnosis. The transmission to humans usually occurs when the bacteria is inhaled, ingested or comes in contact with the skin.
A diagnosis is made through blood tests. Antibiotics, generally penicillin followed by tetracycline, are prescribed to rid the bacteria. Prognosis for a pet diagnosed with leptospirosis is generally guarded.
Routine annual vaccinations protect dogs from the most common strains of Leptospirosis. However, vaccines do not protect against all strains.