Banfield reports spike in leptospirosis cases

Aug 01, 2005
By staff

PORTLAND, ORE. — Banfield reports an increase in leptospirosis cases through its national network of hospitals.

Table1: Leptospirosis data As reported from Banfield data
Dr. Darrell Phillips, Banfield's vice president of medical leadership, says company data shows an upward trend of leptospirosis positive animals. In fact, with 74 animals tested through May 2005, Banfield confirmed 29 leptospirosis-positive pets, a steady increase over the last five years.

Phillips tells DVM Newsmagazine: "The statistics bring up a number of concerns. We are seeing more cases reported, and there is a possibility that there is more lepto in the population."

Banfield sent out an alert to its network of doctors to be vigilant about testing, especially when animals present with kidney or liver disease. Educational efforts are also focused on addressing the zoonotic potential of leptospirosis for pet owners.

While some veterinarians discount the prevalence of leptospirosis in certain demographic regions, he adds that leptospirosis positive animals are represented by a broad geographical distribution that also represent locations of Banfield hospitals.

Phillips encourages veterinarians to educate clients about the zoonotic potential of leptospirosis and continued testing.

"If you look at our broad numbers, we are seeing that the numbers of cases are going up faster than the number of tests we are doing."