What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a disease is caused by spiral shaped bacteria called leptospires. It occurs worldwide and can affect humans as well as many wild and domestic animals, including dogs and cats. The disease can be serious for both humans and animals. In people, the symptoms are often like the flu, but sometimes leptospirosis can develop into a more severe, life-threatening illness with infections in the kidney, liver, brain, lung, and heart. For more information on leptospirosis in humans, look at the following site:
Your pet can get leptospirosis too, and although this has not happened often, the disease has been diagnosed more frequently in the past few years. The information given here will show you how to protect yourself and your pets from getting leptospirosis and what to do if your pet does become infected.
How do people and animals get leptospirosis?
The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Humans and animals can become infected through contact with this contaminated urine (or other body fluids, except saliva), water, or soil. The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Infected wild and domestic animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while for a few months up to several years.
Reference Credit: [read more here] CDC.GOV