Canine Leptospirosis
1st Pet News

Canine Leptospirosis in Maricopa County

1st Pet Veterinary Centers would like to alert our clients about a situation of concern to dog owners. There has been a recent increase in the number of cases of Canine Leptospirosis in Maricopa County. The following are some frequently asked questions about this situation. Please contact us for additional questions.

What Is Canine Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is an infection caused by bacteria called Leptospira that can infect dogs and humans.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Recent dog cases in Arizona have ranged from no symptoms, to conjunctivitis, to kidney and liver failure.

Which dogs have a higher risk?

  • Outdoor dogs that engage in hiking, wading, and swimming in natural waters
  • Dogs on ranches and farms where there is contact with other animals and animal urine
  • Hunting dogs
  • Dogs that are frequently exposed to areas of flooding or flood irrigation
  • Dogs that travel widely and have contact with other dogs and/or other animals
  • Dogs that reside in rural areas or fringe areas where there is potential contact to wildlife or animal urine
  • Dogs that have frequent exposure to other dogs and dog urine such as at dog shows, dog parks, pet boarding facilities, etc.

Why is this a concern now?

The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association has indicated that the number of cases seen by Maricopa County veterinarians is on the rise. Until recently, canine leptospirosis was considered rare and sporadic in Arizona and had not occurred in outbreak settings. Since the beginning of this year, at least 20 dogs have been reported as testing positive for the infection. This is of particular concern because of this infection’s ability to transfer from dogs to humans.

What can I do to keep my dog safe?

In light of recent trends, we recommend leptospirosis vaccination for dogs that may be at increased risk for exposure. Please contact us for an appointment with your veterinarian to learn more and have your dog vaccinated.