Pet owners within the surrounding Twin Cities area have been exposed to the word ‘Lepto.’ Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause illness in dogs but also horses. The disease is transmitted from an infected animal, typically wildlife, shedding the bacteria in urine and exposing the bacterium in pasture wetlands.
Are your horses at risk for contracting Leptospirosis?
- Do they drink from standing water or ponds?
- Are they housed in areas of low wetlands or flooded pastures?
- Do they graze on pastures exposed to wildlife such as white tailed deer, raccoons, and/or opossums?
- Are they an Appaloosa?
- Is she a pregnant mare that meets any of the above criteria?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, there is a now a Leptospirosis vaccine available for horses. In regards to Appaloosas, here’s the latest information. For some reason, most likely genetic, Appaloosas are 8x more likely to develop Equine Recurrent Uveitis (ERU). Research indicates that there is some possible correlation with infection of Leptospirosis and development of ERU. The goal for vaccination in Appaloosas is to decrease the risk of ERU in horses that have not yet been diagnosed with ERU.
For more information, please see the following websites:
For any questions or need for clarification please call us at River Valley Veterinary Service!
Image credit: Alexia_Khrushcheva | iStock