Prevention in Pets
To help prevent Leptospirosis infection, keep rodent problems (rats, mice, or other animal pests) under control. Rodents can carry and spread the bacteria that causes this disease. For more information about rodent control, see: Prevent rodent infestations.
Get your pet vaccinated against leptospirosis. The vaccine does not provide 100% protection. This is because there are many strains (types) of leptospires (the bacteria that causes Leptospirosis), and the vaccine does not provide immunity against all strains. It is important to get your pet vaccinated again even if it gets leptospirosis because it can still get infected with a different strain of leptospires.
Pet owners should also take steps to prevent themselves and others from becoming infected with the disease due to an infected pet. The primary mode of transmission of leptospirosis from pets to humans is through direct or indirect contact with contaminated animal tissues, organs, or urine.
In some instances, shedding of leptospires in the urine may persist for as long as 3 months after infection as a result of inadequate or lack of treatment. Always contact your veterinarian and your physician if you have concerns about a possible exposure to an infected animal.
In addition, be sure to follow the below prevention guidelines:
- Do not handle or come in contact with urine, blood, or tissues from your infected pet before it has received proper treatment.
- If you need to have contact with animal tissues or urine, wear protective clothing, such as gloves and boots, especially if you are occupationally at risk (veterinarians, farm workers, and sewer workers).
- As a general rule, always wash your hands after handling your pet or anything that might have your pet's excrement on it.
- If you are cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated or have urine from an infected pet on them, use an antibacterial cleaning solution or a solution of 1 part household bleach in 10 parts water.
- Make sure that your infected pet takes all of its medicine and follow up with your veterinarian.
- Page last reviewed: June 9, 2015
- Page last updated: June 17, 2011
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