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The administration of the Hôpital Vétérinaire St-Lazare is warning the population of the presence of Leptospirosis disease. Several dogs have been diagnosed with it in recent weeks.

It was through a post on its Facebook page on October 13th  that the Hôpital Vétérinaire St-Lazare published a warning. In it, you can learn that leptospirosis is a zoonosis, which means that it can be transmitted to humans through the urine of an infected animal.


Clinical signs are not obvious at the beginning of the disease, but if leptospirosis is left untreated it can be fatal. Prevention is the key. The Hôpital Vétérinaire St-Lazare specifies that it is important to vaccinate all dogs that are at risk because of where they live or their lifestyle.


Research on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food reveals that leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria that can survive for several years in a hot, humid and shady environment. Water is an essential element for the survival of this bacteria in the environment.

Effects in humans
Period before symptoms: 1 to 2 weeks.


  • In 80 to 95% of cases: fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and fatigue.
  • In 10 to 15% of cases: jaundice caused by problems with the liver, kidneys and blood.
  • Duration of illness: healing takes from a few days to a few months.

Effects in animals

  • Dogs: acute renal failure and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
  • Horses: fever, anorexia, jaundice, abortion and uveitis.
  • Cattle and pigs: Young: fever, blood in the urine, jaundice and diarrhea. Adults: fever, anorexia, abortion, stillbirths, infertility, inflammation of the udder and sudden drop in lactation.Infected animals that do not show symptoms can transmit the disease to humans.

How are humans contaminated?

  • Through the skin, mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes (e.g., when bathing in contaminated water).
  • Through direct or indirect contact with the urine of infected domestic (cattle, pigs, dogs and horses) or wild animals (mice, rats, raccoons and skunks) or with placental or fetal tissues resulting from abortions.
  • By the environment if it is contaminated by animal urine (e.g., pastures and waterways).


Vaccination is possible in dogs, cattle and pigs, but not in horses. It does not prevent the infection but reduces the likelihood and duration.

Steve Sauvé


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