Mountainview Small Animal Hospital Blog

LEPTOSPIROSIS?

bacteria_cartoon_greenLEPTOSPIROSIS? What the heck is that?

Hello again, more news on the Mountainview Blog.
We’ve been getting this question a lot: What is Leptospirosis, and why should I vaccinate for it?

I figured I’d answer publicly to help explain this disease. Leptospirosis is actually a disease caused by bacteria. This bacteria is usually found in rodent urine, in most areas of the southwest, including Riverside County, CA. Your pet may be exposed while running in parks, on hiking trails, or anywhere rats/mice live like orchards or trash areas. The most common way to be infected is for a dog to walk through water, including a small puddle, that has been contaminated by rodent urine or the bacteria, which then gets into the skin through microscopic breaks. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria can then infect the kidneys and the liver causing anorexia, fever, kidney and liver failure. If the liver has been affected, pets will often have a yellow hew to their eyes, skin, and gums if severe. The pet will often start drinking a lot followed by excessive urine, but as the disease progresses, the urine output can actually decrease, or even stop in failure cases. This disease needs aggressive early treatment with IV and oral antibiotics and intravenous fluids if the pet is to be saved. Of huge concern is the fact that this is a Zoonotic disease, meaning that people can get this disease from their dogs, and easily at that. Any patient with these symptoms, we will often recommend their owners see their own doctors.

Now for the good part, there is a vaccine. There are actually 2 different vaccines for this disease. The most common vaccine is combined with the Distemper/Parvo/Adenovirus/Parainfluenza (DHPP) that most people have heard of. This is the vaccine that most veterinarians use locally. It contains 2 of the 9 known strains of this disease. There is also a separate vaccine that contains 4 other strains, and must be ordered separately. If your pets go hiking, camping, are “off road” a lot, or live near bodies of water in our area, we strongly recommend the Lepto vaccine. If you have a small dog who never leaves your side, we are less likely to vaccinate as small pets may have an increased risk of reaction to this vaccine including pain, swelling or a mild temporary fever. So, again, if you have questions, ask your veterinarian, but if you are worried, the vaccine is the way to go.

Thanks again for reading everyone.

tags: 
posted in:  ILLNESSES

PARVO SEASON

Sick Puppy

Well, Parvo season is back, and in full force. Parvovirus is a virus that attacks dogs intestines and eventually the bone marrow too. The common symptoms, are anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and as it progresses, diarrhea with blood. The main cause of death in puppies or dogs with Parvo, is dehydration and infection from bacteria getting into the blood stream from the intestines. This disease is rampant in our area year round, but the cooler, wetter weather of fall through spring tend to bring it out and it is much harder to kill in the environment. This disease is completely preventable with proper vaccination. The recommended protocol for proper vaccination for a puppy is: start at 8 weeks, and vaccinate with a DHPP, with or without corona, every 2-3 weeks until the puppy is 16-17 weeks. If you are unsure of the puppy’s age, give one more and err on the side of caution because if vaccines stop before 16 weeks of age, or are more than 3 weeks apart, the puppy will not be protected against this disease. Corona is another virus that causes diarrhea, but it has been shown that if a puppy gets both parvo and corona at the same time, there is little chance it will survive. This is why we recommend the corona vaccine in our area. If you find or adopt an older puppy, 2-3 sets of vaccines 2-3 weeks apart should be sufficient. These vaccines should also be boostered at 1 year of age, and in our area, with all of the parvo, we recommend yearly thereafter as well. Adults can also get parvo if they have been improperly vaccinated as puppies, or not boostered, or years have passed.
If your pet should happen to show any of these symptoms, please contact us or your veterinarian as soon as possible because time is of the essence in treating parvo patients. Aggressive treatment includes hospitalization with IV fluids, antibiotics, blood work to monitor bone marrow function and ability to fight the infection, and calorie administration as these pets are unable to hold down any food or water. IF this is not an option, some pets will do well with outpatient care, but often this takes much longer, and in some cases, fails completely. Hopefully, this blurb about Parvo can help save a few lives, as we’ve already seen 6 cases in the last 7 days. Any questions, always, feel free to call us at Mountanview.

tags: 
posted in:  ILLNESSES

Blog

Our dog Yankee actually enjoys going to the vet. The staff offers consistent great customer service. Dr. Hempel is always so gentle with Yankee, he always explains what he is doing through out the exam. Likewise for all veterinary assistants.
- Robert C