Leptospirosis blamed for deaths of 2 dogs in Buffalo Grove

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- Leptospirosis, a disease that can be deadly for dogs, is blamed for killing two family pets in Buffalo Grove and it appears to be spreading.

This week, Veterinary Specialty Center's emergency department in Buffalo Grove has treated between 3-5 potential cases of leptospirosis in dogs.

"This is the time of the year that we tend to see it more. I don't know if we are seeing more cases than we normally see, but we've had a lot of suspects that have passed away unfortunately," said Dr. Adam Mordecai, Veterinary Specialty Center.

Dogs can become infected with lepto, a bacterial infection, when they come into contact with infected water. The bacteria is carried by wildlife and spread through their urine.

The veterinarian says the symptoms are fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, muscle pain, and the dog's gums and eyes may also become yellow, as well as liver or kidney failure.

There is an annual vaccination for leptospirosis, but it's not 100% fool-proof because there are different strains of the infection.

"There may be different infections that we maybe can't test for that these patients are suffering from," said Dr. Mordecai.

The veterinarian treated Mac, a golden retriever who had the lepto symptoms and had been vaccinated.

"Mac was a golden retriever that a resident was saying was highly suspected to have leptospirosis, and unfortunately, he passed," said Dr. Mordecai.

Treatment can run thousands of dollars.

"For mild cases, sometimes, oral antibiotics are enough to get over it. Some patients that needed to be admitted into the hospital need IV antibiotics and IV fluids and supportive care," said Dr. Mordecai.

The important thing to remember is that if your pet is sick, always check with a veterinarian.

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.