Awareness of Leptospirosis

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is an infection caused by the bacteria genus Leptospira. Leptospirosis can have a massive affect on mammals. In humans it can cause kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, respiratory distress, or even death.


Transmission

Leptospirosis is transmitted by coming in contact that has the bodily fluid of an infected animal. Humans can catch it by walking around barefoot, handling aborted calves or piglets without gloves, droplets of infected urine getting into your nasal passage or eye. Livestock can get it from infected streams or eating plants that are covered in infected urine.


Symptoms in Humans

Here is a small list of symptoms that humans could have when infected with leptospirosis:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • High Fever
  • Muscle Aches
  • Jaundice (yellowed skin and eyes)
  • Red eyes
  • Rash

Symptoms in dogs and livestock.

In dogs it can cause the dog to have a:
  • fever
  • abdominal pain
  • he/she will refuse to eat
  • severe weakness and depression
  • stiffness
  • prevents female dogs to have puppies
  • cause the dog to vomit and have diarrhea.
Sometimes some of the animals don't even have any symptoms. If your one of your livestock has Leptospirosis and becomes pregnant it has the chance of having either an abortion, miscarriage, or have stillbirths. If your livestock isn't pregnant, your animal/s can have rashes on their abdomen or behind their ears.
Cattle:
  • sudden slackness of the whole udder,
  • decreased milk production,
  • common forms of mastitis
  • kidney damage
  • poor fertility.
Sheep and goats rarely get it but when they do it's usually a chronic infection.


Ways of prevention.

Prevent rodent problems, vaccinate your animals and yourself. Don't touch any urine or blood of the infected animals. Wear protective clothing such as pants, gloves, and any type of closed toed shoe. ALWAYS wash your hands after coming in contact with your animals.


Treatment: Humans and Animals

In the early stages of the infection the doctors would give you antibiotics. If you were more along in the infection you may have to have intravenous antibiotics. Animals are also given antibiotics in the early stage so it can actually recover quicker and with less organ damage. If the infection is further along then you need to consult with your veterinarian.