Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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All You Need to Know About Leptospirosis!

You know the adage “knowledge is power”? In lieu of the recent Leptospirosis outbreak in Nova Scotia, it’s advised to arm yourself with as much information as possible to help protect yourself and your dog.

What is Leptospirosis?
Lepto is a bacterial disease of dogs and other mammals that primarily affects the liver and kidneys. This organism thrives in water (puddles etc.). There are many species of Lepto, many of which affect dogs. Some species that affect dogs do not cause any symptoms or illness at all. I am discussing dogs only because there is no evidence that Lepto causes disease in Cats.

How are dogs infected?
Rats and other rodents mainly carry the Lepto bacteria, but almost ANY mammal, including people, can also carry it. An animal that is either entirely infected or even just a carrier of the disease can transmit the bacteria.

Ingestion of infected urine or rodent-contaminated garbage is the most important means of transmission.

Some forms of the bacteria CAN penetrate the damaged or thin skin. For example, dogs swimming in contaminated water, they can become infected through their skin. The incubation period from infection to clinical signs is usually 4 – 12 days.

What are the signs of Lepto?
As stated above many Lepto infections go undetected. Other cases can be life-threatening. There are three primary forms of the disease:

1) Hemorrhagic (bleeding) – High fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, multiple small haemorrhages occur in the mouth and on the whites of the eyes, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. This form is often fatal.

2) Jaundice (liver) – Begins much like the hemorrhagic form with many of the same clinical signs. However, there is yellowing of the mouth and whites of the eyes. In severe cases, the skin will turn yellow as well.

3) Renal (kidney) – This form causes kidney failure. Very lethargic, loss of appetite (weight), vomiting, horrible breath, tongue ulcers, diarrhea, excessive drinking/urinating, blood in urine, abdominal pain, a fever that can come and go. Dogs that survive this form may be left with chronic kidney disease.

How is Lepto diagnosed?
Because clinical signs can mimic other diseases, a definitive diagnosis can be tricky. Taking blood samples DURING infection and again during the RECOVERY period that shows an increase in antibodies to Leptospira is supportive of the diagnosis.

How is it treated?
Antibiotics (often long-term) and intensive in-hospital veterinary care.

How is it prevented?
Leptospirosis Vaccination.

LEPTOSPIROSIS CAN BE TRANSMITTED TO PEOPLE.

Avoiding contact between bare skin and the urine of an infected dog, wear rubber gloves when cleaning up dirty areas in the home (bleach solution will disinfect contaminated areas).

Stay safe my friends!

Written by Mountain Road Animal Hospital

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Last updated: May 4, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 4, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday and Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED


NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Mountain Road Animal Hospital