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Leptospirosis in Dogs: What is it? Paw Print

Leptospirosis In Dogs
Leptospirosis in Dogs: What is it?

Have you ever heard of Leptospirosis? It is not a disease commonly seen in Melbourne and the surrounding areas, however this deadly threat still warrants attention from every dog family. Understanding leptospirosis, recognising its symptoms, and knowing the steps to take for prevention can make a significant difference in your pet’s health and even their life.


Leptospirosis isn’t just a tongue-twister; it’s a serious bacterial infection that poses a risk not only to dogs but also to humans. This disease primarily spreads through contact with contaminated water sources. Stagnant wet areas like lakes, ponds, or even small puddles after rain can harbor this bacteria. The source? Rodents, or more specifically, their urine, which can contaminate these water bodies. Dogs who love exploring outdoors, especially those drawn to water, are at increased risk.


Leptospirosis begins with vague symptoms, which can deceive even the most observant pet parents. At first, the disease might not even show up in blood tests, which can delay finding the problem and giving the right treatment urgently. By the time the signs become obvious, like problems with the kidneys or liver, the disease might have already done serious, irreversible harm, potentially leading to acute renal or liver failure, which is ultimately fatal.

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes to urination
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Jaundice (A yellowish tint to the skin or eyes)
  • In severe cases, acute renal or liver failure and death


  1. Protection is Key – Even though we don’t hear about it a lot in Victoria, a case of Leptospirosis is not to be taken lightly. We have indeed diagnosed cases right here in our VetLand facility. Leptospirosis can lead to severe and often fatal illness, including kidney and liver failure. It is often difficult to confirm, meaning a diagnosis may come too late. Vaccination offers a shield of protection, keeping your dog safe from this infection.
  2. Community Health Matters – By vaccinating your pet, you’re not just looking out for them; you’re also contributing to the health of the wider pet community. It’s about creating a safer environment for all our pets.
  3. Peace of Mind – Knowing your dog is vaccinated against leptospirosis can offer you relief and ensure you enjoy more worry-free moments with your beloved pet.


Fortunately, there’s a silver lining: vaccination. Though leptospirosis comprises several strains, vaccines are available to protect against the most dangerous ones. If your pup loves to romp in the wet or mix it up with wildlife, it’s worth asking: is it worth skipping the vaccine?


If you’re now pondering over the leptospirosis vaccine or find yourself concerned about your dog’s risk, it’s time for a professional discussion. Our veterinarians at Lilydale are equipped with the expertise to offer tailored advice, ensuring your dog’s lifestyle and exposure risks are meticulously considered.

Booking a consultation could be the first step towards securing your dog’s health and well-being. If you have an emergency, we urge you not to book a vet appointment using this booking form and instead contact us at 03 9735 4211 so that we can organise to see you as soon as possible. Your peace of mind and your dog’s safety are our priorities. Let’s work together to shield your pet from leptospirosis.

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