2010 ACVIM small animal consensus statement on leptospirosis: diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention

J Vet Intern Med. Jan-Feb 2011;25(1):1-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0654.x. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


This report offers a consensus opinion on the diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of leptospirosis in dogs, an important zoonosis. Clinical signs of leptospirosis in dogs relate to development of renal disease, hepatic disease, uveitis, and pulmonary hemorrhage. Disease may follow periods of high rainfall, and can occur in dogs roaming in proximity to water sources, farm animals, or wildlife, or dogs residing in suburban environments. Diagnosis is based on acute and convalescent phase antibody titers by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), with or without use of polymerase chain reaction assays. There is considerable interlaboratory variation in MAT results, and the MAT does not accurately predict the infecting serogroup. The recommended treatment for optimal clearance of the organism from renal tubules is doxycycline, 5 mg/kg p.o. q12h, for 14 days. Annual vaccination can prevent leptospirosis caused by serovars included in the vaccine and is recommended for dogs at risk of infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Bacterial Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Consensus
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dogs
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Leptospira / isolation & purification*
  • Leptospirosis / diagnosis
  • Leptospirosis / drug therapy
  • Leptospirosis / microbiology
  • Leptospirosis / prevention & control
  • Leptospirosis / veterinary*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Zoonoses / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Doxycycline