Two dogs in Cottonwood, Arizona were infected with Leptospirosis, a serious to fatal bacterial infection that had not been diagnosed in Arizona in 50 years- news article 

Leptosporosis organisms can cause fatal or permanent, progressive kidney failure.  It is difficult to treat and often not enough can be done fast enough to save a patient’s life.  To further complicate matters, it is not the first disease your Arizona veterinarian will think of to test for because it is so rare here.

Signs of disease include lethargy and poor appetite, increased drinking and excessive urination and dehydration.  As the disease progresses and kidney failure ensues, pets will start vomiting, may have diarrhea, seizures or disorientation.

If your pet shows any signs of Lepto and has traveled to the Cottonwood, Az area, be sure to TELL YOUR VETERINARIAN so she can test for Lepto sooner, rather than later.  This will give your pet the best chance for survival.

Lepto is a Zoonotic disease, meaning that animals can pass it on to humans.  And, it is just as dangerous to humans as to animals!

The disease is acquired by humans or animals being exposed to the urine of infected animals (which means your infected dog can pass it to you or contaminate your yard/ pond/ pool), or drinking or swimming in water contaminated with the urine of infected wild animals or livestock (the primary source of infection for people and animals).

If your pet travels to the Cottonwood/ Verde Valley area, protect against Leptosporosis:

  •  Don’t allow him to drink out of irrigation ditches, rivers or other open water sources. 
  •  Ask your veterinarian to vaccinate your pet against Lepto.  Most Arizona vets do not vaccinate against this disease routinely because of our historically low risk.  The Lepto vaccine is also very “reactive”, meaning that a fair amount of patients receiving the vaccine develop a reaction such as temproary (1-5 days) lethargy, poor appetite, fever, achiness, and a lump at the site of the vaccination.  You can ask your vet for a dose of antiinflammatory to be given with the vaccine to help minimize the side effects.

Please Call us at 886-1125 if you have additional questions about Leptosporosis and your pets.

Cimarron Wishes You Safe Travels with your Pet!