Saint James Animal Hospital

538 North Country Road
Saint James, NY 11780



Leptospirosis is a disease of man and dogs caused by a bacteria-like organism called Leptospira. It is not a bacteria in the truest sense of the word, as it does not have the same structures, and is a member of a group of organisms called "Spirochetes" that belong to the order Spirochaetales. There are many different types of "serovars" of Leptospira (more than 200!). These servars are different strains of the organism.

Leptospirosis is a prevalent disease on Long Island currently, and has been since 1996 when several hundred cases in dogs were reported in that year alone. These cases on Long Island have been within a handful of serovars. The infection causes kidney damage, liver damage, or both and on the surface can look like any other disease with a fever, poor appetite, and sluggishness. Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, which means that it is shared between animals and man, and can be transmitted from your dog to you or your family members. The main reservoir for Leptospirosis is small mammals such as squirrels, racoons, as well as others and is shed in their urine.

Vaccination of dogs against Leptospirosis is absolutely essential to help prevent the disease for both your pet as well as your family.

Please feel free to browse the information regarding Leptospirosis and call us with any questions!