There are two bacterial serotypes most frequently indicted in dogs:
L. ictero haemorrhagiae
Microorganisms can be eliminated for a long time with the urine of infected animals and this represents a potential source of infection for other subjects, dogs, animals in general and humans.
Infection arises through direct contact with contaminated material; following penetration into the skin or mucous membranes of leptospires, leptospiremia occurs and the localization of the causative agent in various organs including the kidneys, which thus become the reservoir of infection.
Leptospirosis has an incubation time of 5-6 days. In the course of L. Ictero haemorrhagiae the liver is the mainly damaged organ. Liver damage is followed by the death of the dog.
The signs of the disease are: apathy, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea and jaundice.
L. Canicola mainly affects the kidneys causing nephritis and therefore there is a stagnation of toxic substances in the blood normally eliminated with the urine.
Dogs show apathy, vomiting, ulcers on the oral mucosa accompanied by halitosis. Even in this situation the dog is in serious danger of death.
The therapy foresees to remedy the severe state of dehydration and acidosis arising with diarrhea and vomiting and the veterinarian will prescribe specific antibacterials whose results are often mediocre.