Leptospirosis is an important bacterial infection which can cause disease in dogs while cats are generally reported to be resistant to clinical signs. Additionally, leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease. Although bivalent vaccination had been effective at controlling disease for many years, leptospirosis appears to be re-emerging worldwide with other serovars now implicated in causing disease. Traditionally, leptospirosis has been considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs with acute hepatic and kidney disease. The disease should be considered in many other acute disease presentations; such as gastrointestinal disease and respiratory disease. Both chronic infection and carrier status can exist, and treatment is aimed at the reduction of chronic bacterial shedding, which contributes to environmental contamination. This article discusses the common and atypical presentations of leptospirosis, the diagnostic tests available to confirm disease and the recommendations for treatment and prevention.
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