Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that causes serious illness in dogs, other animals, and people. The disease is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water or warm, wet soil, puddles, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, canals and another infected dog. The bacteria mainly comes from the urine of rats, pigs and cattle, which makes farms the most likely place for the disease to be transmitted. Leptospirosis is very serious disease, that is sadly, often fatal.

Symptoms: High temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain, diarrhoea and blood in the urine. Leptospirosis affects the liver and the kidneys so watch out for excessive drinking and urinating, yellow eyes and persistent vomiting.


Leptospirosis can pass to humans cause serious illness. Lepto in people is also known as Weil’s disease. If you have concerns that you or someone you know may have Leptospirosis, it is best to contact your doctor or the NHS for advice.

If your dog has a mild case of Lepto, your vet may be able to use antibiotics, a fluid drip and other medicines to help fight the disease.

Dogs with lepto must be treated in isolation to prevent them spreading it to other pets or hospital staff. Even after they’ve recovered, dogs with Lepto can keep spreading the bacteria in their urine and remain a risk to other pets and people for some time.

If you suspect that your dog has contracted leptospirosis, contact your vet immediately. There are a few different types of leptospirosis bacteria and each one is slightly different. Fortunately, we can vaccinate against the types of lepto bacteria commonly found in the UK.

This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the advice provided by your veterinarian.