The atmospheric rivers have been a blessing for drought suffering northern California, however it comes at a price for our canine population- leptospirosis is rearing its ugly head. Local news have reported on a patient in San Francisco that died from this infection. I just diagnosed a patient three weeks ago in Berkeley. This bacteria has its preferred hosts, in NorCal that's mostly rodents and raccoons, and dogs are susceptible to infection which tends to infect eyes, lungs, liver and kidneys, and can lead to kidney and/or liver failure. There is a vaccine for this disease, however, as is often the case in biology, there are multiple strains and the vaccinations may not completely protect pets. Still, some protection is better than none in this potentially deadly infection. Treatment requires rapid identification and antibiotic therapy- some of the damage may not be reversible. The additional threat to public health is that this infection is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted from to animals and people, mostly through infected tissues, ingested in predation and body fluids, such as urine.
Check your pet's records, and if you don't see any history of "lepto" vaccine, often included in the Distemper combination vaccines (DAPP + lepto or DHLPP are some common shorthands for this vaccination), make an appointment to discuss it with your vet.
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