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Is Lepto The Same As Dog Distemper?

dog distemper

Leptospirosis and dog distemper are two of the most concerning diseases your canine buddy could have. However, most pet owners are confused between them. If that is the case with you, you need to identify their background, causes, and possible treatments to distinguish their differences.

Both of these infections can harm your pets, and thankfully, vaccines for lepto and distemper are included in the list of preventive medications for your pet today. To know more about the differences between the two, continue reading below!


What Is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis, often called lepto, is a bacterial and infectious disease that can affect dogs and other mammals and is sometimes transmitted to humans. This disease affects the kidney or liver of the animal, making it too dangerous for them.

It is mainly encountered in rural, damp, and wooded areas. If you wonder how your pets became infected, they might have been exposed to a carrier or someone who had the disease.

Another reason for transmission is when contamination occurs — whether it’s in the garbage or their drinking water. When your pet is exposed to these, their skin might get infected, resulting in transmission.



There are symptoms you should be aware of to determine if your pets are already diagnosed with leptospirosis. If these happen, take immediate action by bringing your pets to the nearest clinic:

  • Sudden fever
  • Sore and stiff muscles
  • Weight/appetite loss
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting with blood
  • Diarrhea (with blood in worse cases)
  • Anemic symptoms such as having yellow skin and white eyes
  • Fast breathing, difficulty breathing, and irregular pulse



Identifying the treatments for a pet experiencing leptospirosis will help an owner to save them. Below are some of the treatments you can consider when this situation happens.

  • Pets diagnosed with this should go to their trusted veterinarians for frequent check-ups and consultation.
  • You can consider giving your pet antibiotics as it is helpful and effective in some early stages of leptospirosis. However, please remember that your pets can only take antibiotics if the veterinarian prescribes them. 
  • If the case is not considered an early stage, consider bringing your pets to a veterinary hospital because they will need intensive care and attention.
  • A pet owner can also consider giving pets doxycycline as long as the veterinarian prescribes it. This might help your pet’s recovery, guaranteeing that the bacteria are already cleared, making them not a carrier. 


What is Distemper?

dog distemper

Dog distemper is a contagious disease that our pups can acquire anytime. It damages your pet’s internal organs, disrupting the respiratory, nervous, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems.

Unlike leptospirosis, distemper cannot be transmitted to humans. However, it can still be passed and spread directly to other pets through coughing and sneezing. 

The virus is very likely to be transmitted from one animal to another if it releases droplets on a surface while coughing, sneezing, or barking.



Canine distemper symptoms are easily detected these days. Most of them include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Seizures
  • Neurological disturbances (odd behavior)
  • Thick, yellow discharge from the nose and eyes



Distemper does not have a direct cure, but you can treat the signs and symptoms you are encountering with your furry friend. Listed below are some tips you might consider to save your pet:

  • Pets should remain under observation of a trusted vet so they can receive intensive care.
  • Consider having an intravenous fluid therapy that might help the pet’s cough, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • If needed, they can also undergo anti-seizure medications. Remember that this is recommended, unlike taking antibiotics.

Also, don’t forget to have your pet get their canine distemper vaccine from a trusted veterinarian. This will significantly minimize the risks of your furry buddy contracting the disease.



Lepto and dog distemper are two major health problems our canine friends may face, and it might be confusing for pet owners if they don’t know what’s going on.

Identifying the background, causes, symptoms, and treatments of each disease is the only way for you to identify if your pet is suffering from one of them. Each condition has its unique traits, and as a fur parent, you should take responsibility in learning all of these.

If you’re curious to know more about animals’ diseases, Doobert will gladly accept you as a volunteer! The team is constantly looking for people to help them out or for someone to adopt an animal in need. You can check out their website to know more about the details!

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