Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted in the urine of wildlife.  It is important to note that leptospirosis can be transmitted by rats, making dogs in urban environments just as much at risk as those in more rural areas. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease and has the potential to infect humans as well.



Leptospirosis can present in a similar manner to many other disease processes. In addition to routine blood and urine tests, your veterinarian will likely recommend serology tests, which can detect antibodies against the organism, or real-time PCR tests, which can detect the actual organism in blood and urine samples. 


Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, generally doxycycline. If caught in the early stages of the disease, a full recovery can be expected. However, advanced cases that progress to organ failure carry a very poor prognosis.


There is a vaccination available against leptospirosis.