John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is leptospirosis?
- What are leptospirosis symptoms and signs?
- How is leptospirosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for leptospirosis? What is the prognosis for leptospirosis?
- Can leptospirosis be prevented with a vaccine?
- Can my pets get leptospirosis?
- Leptospirosis At A Glance
Can my pets get leptospirosis?
According to information from the CDC, your pets (especially dogs, less commonly cats) can contract leptospirosis. Your pet can contract it in the same ways you can (ingesting contaminated soil, water, or through skin wounds). Your pet may exhibit vomiting, refusal to eat, weight loss, decreased activity, muscle pains, or stiffness.
If you suspect your pet is ill, take them to a veterinarian for testing and treatment. Early antibiotic treatment often can limit or prevent organ damage.
If your pet is diagnosed with leptospirosis, you must be careful to try to prevent exposure to yourself or other household members. Remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water after cleaning up waste from your pet. If possible, use latex or rubber gloves to do the job of cleanup. Use a diluted (1:10 parts) bleach solution to clean surfaces where pet wastes may have contaminated. And make sure your pet receives the full course of antibiotic treatment that is prescribed by your vet. Discuss other pet-care issues directly with your vet should you have any other questions regarding the disease.
- Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium.
- Leptospirosis is transmitted to humans by direct exposure to urine or tissue of an infected animal.
- Leptospirosis typically progresses through two phases of nonspecific symptoms.
- Leptospirosis can be diagnosed by culture of infected blood, urine, or spinal fluid, as well as using antibody testing.
- Your pets may also be at risk for contracting leptospirosis.
- Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics and is rarely fatal.
Martinez, R., et al. "Efficacy and Safety of a Vaccine Against Human Leptospirosis in Cuba." Rev Panam Salud Publica. 15.4 Apr. 2004: 249-255. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15193180>.
"Treatment of Acute Human Leptospirosis - Professional Guide." The Leptospirosis Information Center. <http://www.leptospirosis.org/topic.php?t=38>.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Leptospirosis." Oct. 12, 2005. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/leptospirosis_g.htm>.
"Vets Report Outbreak of Pet Infection." ClickonDetroit.com. Aug. 23, 2010. <http://www.clickondetroit.com/family/24735118/detail.html>.
Last Editorial Review: 12/20/2010
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