Signalment Changes in Canine Leptospirosis between 1970 and 2009
Article first published online: 26 DEC 2013
Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 294–299, March/April 2014
How to Cite
Lee, H.S., Guptill, L., Johnson, A.J. and Moore, G.E. (2014), Signalment Changes in Canine Leptospirosis between 1970 and 2009. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 28: 294–299. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12273
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 26 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 16 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 1 JUL 2013
- Morris Animal Foundation
- Leptospira ;
- Temporal trends;
- Veterinary Medical DataBase
Previous studies have identified large breed, male, outdoor dogs of herding or working groups to be at increased risk for Leptospira infection. Exposure risk factors may change over time, altering the signalment of dogs most commonly diagnosed with leptospirosis.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate possible signalment changes by decade in canine leptospirosis cases diagnosed at university veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada using reports to the Veterinary Medical DataBase (VMDB) over a 40-year period (1970–2009).
One thousand and ninety-one dogs with leptospirosis diagnosed among 1,659,146 hospital visits.
Hospital prevalence of leptospirosis by decade was determined by age, sex, weight, and breed groups. Multivariable logistic regression models were created to evaluate the association between variables and the odds of disease for each decade.
Veterinary Medical DataBase hospital prevalence of leptospirosis in dogs, after a marked decrease in the 1970s and low rates in the 1980s, began increasing in the 1990s. Hospital prevalence significantly increased in dogs between 2 and 9.9 years of age (P < .05) and in male dogs (P < .05) in each decade since the 1980s. Among weight groups in the most recent decade (2000–2009), dogs weighing <15 pounds had the greatest odds of being diagnosed with leptospirosis (P = .003).
Conclusions and Clinical Importance
Hospital prevalence rates by age, weight, sex, and breed groups differed by decade. These changes may reflect changes in exposure risk, Leptospira vaccination practices for dogs, or both.