An animal infected with the leptospira bacteria excrete it in their urine. The disease is mostly associated with swine and rodents, although dogs can get it too. The most common cause is drinking stagnant water in which the bacterium is present. Another way the bacteria infects animals is through the soil. The bacteria survive for long periods waiting for an animal to infect.
An animal with leptospirosis will have a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are common symptoms of illness. What’s important to look for is blood in the urine. This is an indicator that the pet has leptospirosis. Human symptoms include jaundice in addition to fever, muscle aches, vomiting, and headaches. Both pets and humans need to be treated with antibiotics to kill off the bacteria. Pet owners should try to make sure pets don’t have access to stagnant water and keep rodent pets indoors or in controlled outdoor areas.