Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

call icon
905.285.0002

Cases of Leptospirosis in the GTA

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital has received reports of leptospirosis cases from other veterinary hospitals in the GTA. We have compiled some information to help answer any questions you may have.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease of dogs and other mammals that primarily affects the liver and kidneys. It is caused by the bacteria Leptospira. Bacteria are passed in the urine of infected animals and can survive in the environment for long periods of time in moist soil or stagnant water. Wild animals including skunks, raccoons, opossums, rats, wolves, and deer, can all spread the infection. Leptospirosis is very rare in cats and is not generally associated with disease.

What happens once a dog is infected?

Dogs become infected through contact with urine from an infected animal, in the soil or in water – Leptospira can penetrate the soft lining of the nose, mouth, and eyelids, and can also enter the body through sores or scratches on the skin.

Once a dog has come in contact with Leptospirosis, the incubation period (time from infection to onset of clinical signs) is usually 4 to 12 days. Infected dogs will show a variety of symptoms, including lethargy, depression, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, increased thirst, and increased urination. Some may develop jaundice (yellowing of the gums and the whites of the eyes). Some dogs show only mild symptoms and will recover, but infection can be life threatening.

Clinical leptospirosis causes damage to the liver and/or the kidneys, and can be fatal.

Note: Leptospirosis can be transmitted to people – owners of infected dogs should avoid contact with the dog’s urine, and wear gloves when cleaning any areas the dog has soiled. The organism is readily killed by household disinfectants or a dilute bleach solution

How common is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis has been found in southern Ontario, and cases are increasing, with numerous cases in dogs in the GTA this year.

Can Leptospirosis be treated?

Affected patients generally involves antibiotics and often hospitalization. Treatment can be effective if the disease is diagnosed early, but the prognosis is guarded for severely infected dogs is guarded to poor. There are also potential longterm consequences of infection even if treatment is successful, such as chronic kidney disease.

Can Leptospirosis be prevented?

Yes – there is a vaccine available that protects against many (although not all) the strains of Leptospirosis. The vaccine is not considered a core vaccine, however at this time we are recommending the Leptospirosis vaccine to all our canine patients.

Additional Resources:

Category:

Blog

Happy dog sitting in the middle of a road

Cases of Leptospirosis in the GTA

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital has received reports of leptospirosis cases from other veterinary hospitals in the GTA.

Read More
See All Articles

Last updated: May 29, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED


#. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital