What diseases can humans get from dogs
Leptospirosis - a dangerous disease in dogs that can also be transmitted to humans
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that is triggered by bacteria (leptospira). Sources of infection are rodents such as mice, rats, etc. The rodents themselves usually do not get sick. However, they excrete the bacteria with the urine and thus contaminate the environment of humans and animals. The leptospires are even able to multiply in pools and puddles at temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius. This can significantly increase the risk of infection for humans and animals in the summer months with a lot of rain.
The infection spreads through the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) or through wounds in the skin. Dogs and humans can become infected when bathing in stagnant water (lakes, garden ponds). Leptospira can also be absorbed by drinking water from standing water (puddles, lakes, garden ponds, rain butts). Direct contact with the urine of sick dogs can also lead to infection with leptospira.
There are studies on dogs that have shown that animals that appear healthy and that have no vaccination against leptospira can also be considered as carriers of the infection.
If the pathogen is transmitted to a susceptible organism (dog or human), flu-like symptoms initially appear, which later lead to liver and kidney dysfunction as the disease progresses. Other organs in the body can also be damaged. The severity of the clinical symptoms depends on the age and immunity of the organism, environmental influences, the pathogen involved, the virulence and the amount of bacteria ingested. The disease occurs in dogs of all ages. Young dogs (under six months old) are the most severely ill.
A clear and quick diagnosis of a leptospiral infection in dogs is important, as animals can be a source of infection for humans.
Therapy and prophylaxis
The treatment of the dogs depends on the severity of the disease. Immediate antibiotic therapy is essential to stop the bacterial flooding of the body. At the beginning, ampicillin or, better still, amoxicillin should be administered intravenously. These drugs prevent the pathogens from being excreted and transmitted. However, they do not manage to eliminate the pathogens from the kidneys, end the carrier status or end a permanent excretion. A second treatment phase must therefore follow in order to end the carrier status. The drug of choice for this is doxycycline (5 mg / kg every 12 hours p. O. For three weeks). Treatment with doxycycline should be initiated as soon as the animal's condition permits administration.
About half of the dogs with clinically manifest leptospirosis survive with appropriate intensive treatment. Unfortunately, the prognosis is even worse for young dogs that are not vaccinated.
Due to the particular risk posed to dogs by the leptospira and the risk of infection for humans, vaccines for dogs were developed which, if used consistently and correctly, can prevent infection from dogs and transmission from dogs to humans.
Vaccination against leptospira and compliance with hygiene are the most important measures to prevent infection with leptospira.
The earliest time to vaccinate puppies is when they are 6 weeks old. In order to develop a robust immunity, each dog must be vaccinated twice every 4 weeks at the beginning. An annual re-vaccination is then carried out. When selecting the vaccines, make sure that the composition of the vaccine is tailored to the respective territory (Germany), such as Nobivac® L4. This is the only way to ensure that immunity to infection is optimal.
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