• Open Access

2010 ACVIM Small Animal Consensus Statement on Leptospirosis: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Treatment, and Prevention

Authors


  • This document has been endorsed by the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or ISCAID.

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  • Consensus Statements of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) provide the veterinary community with up-to-date information on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of clinically important animal diseases. The ACVIM Board of Regents oversees selection of relevant topics, identification of panel members with the expertise to draft the statements, and other aspects of assuring the integrity of the process. The statements are derived from evidence-based medicine whenever possible and the panel offers interpretive comments when such evidence is inadequate or contradictory. A draft is prepared by the panel, followed by solicitation of input by the ACVIM membership which may be incorporated into the statement. It is then submitted to the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, where it is edited prior to publication. The authors are solely responsible for the content of the statements.

Corresponding author: Jane E. Sykes, Department of Medicine & Epidemiology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616; e-mail: jesykes@ucdavis.edu.

Abstract

This report offers a consensus opinion on the diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of leptospirosis in dogs, an important zoonosis. Clinical signs of leptospirosis in dogs relate to development of renal disease, hepatic disease, uveitis, and pulmonary hemorrhage. Disease may follow periods of high rainfall, and can occur in dogs roaming in proximity to water sources, farm animals, or wildlife, or dogs residing in suburban environments. Diagnosis is based on acute and convalescent phase antibody titers by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), with or without use of polymerase chain reaction assays. There is considerable interlaboratory variation in MAT results, and the MAT does not accurately predict the infecting serogroup. The recommended treatment for optimal clearance of the organism from renal tubules is doxycycline, 5 mg/kg PO q12h, for 14 days. Annual vaccination can prevent leptospirosis caused by serovars included in the vaccine and is recommended for dogs at risk of infection.

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