Veterinarians are reporting a potential cluster of leptospirosis cases in dogs near Lake Aquitaine in Mississauga (Winston Churchill Blvd. & Derry Rd. area). Leptospira gryppotyphosa has been confirmed in one dog, with other cases being suspected but not confirmed because owners declined testing.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by different types Leptospira spp. These bacteria like to live in water and in moist conditions, and infections in dogs most often result in kidney disease. The bacterium is shed in the urine of infected animals. Leptospira gryppotyphosa is mainly found in wild voles, raccoons, skunks and opossums, and these animals can infect various environmental areas. Any animals exposed to outdoor environments in endemic areas can become infected from ingesting infected water or from contact of infected water with the mouth, eyes or nose, or cuts or other broken skin.
People in the area where these cases have been found should take particular care and probably avoid letting their animals wander into the water or wet areas. A vaccine is available to reduce the risk of leptospirosis, including disease caused by this Leptospira type. Vaccination of pets that are exposed to water or wet habitats in areas where lepto is present is a good idea. People in the Lake Aquitaine area should be particularly vigilant and vaccination of pets would be a good idea.