You’ve seen them all: possum, raccoons, squirrels, deer, rats, etc. They’re in our yards, our woods, our streets. They’re pretty much everywhere. Most are lovely to look at (sorry possums and rats), but some can be spreading a hidden hazard. A hazard that can have life-threatening consequences for your dogs….. and even for you.


I’m talking about Leptospirosis or Lepto for short. Lepto is a bacterial infection that can be spread by an infected animal through it’s urine and other body fluids. It enters the body through mucus membranes (mouth, nose, etc.), through scratches or abrasions on the skin, and potentially through bite wounds. The disease, if untreated, can cause kidney and liver failure in dogs. And oh by the way, it can cause the same in people. Lepto can even cause death. You may have recently seen reports about a person that died in New York and two others who were sick from Lepto. It has been reported that as many as 50 dogs have been infected in Phoenix. Most experts have felt that Lepto is a rare likelihood but other reports show Lepto is emerging more and more. Perhaps the reports from New York and Phoenix support this.

The purpose of this blog is not to scare you, but to inform you. We recommend vaccinating against Lepto and use the vaccine as one of our core vaccines. Many clinics and hospitals do not. As with any vaccine, we make sure your pet is medically able to be vaccinated prior to administering it.

I have researched to try and find the incidence of Lepto in our area. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find accurate info from a reliable source. Certainly, Lepto is not an everyday, every week, every month diagnosis. But the potential for harm and the understanding that many feel Lepto is on the rise is cause enough to be aware. And cause enough to be protected, don’t you think?

As always, feel free to contact me by email or phone.

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027