Visiting the Vet – Jefferson’s heart!

Welcome to August!

July 13th. 11:00 The second case that I sat in on was Linda bringing in Jefferson.

Jefferson is an eight-year-old long-haired male Dachshund. Linda had decided to bring her dog into Lincoln Road because recently Jefferson had started coughing but only when he was pulling on his leash.

Linda added that Jefferson seemed to be chewing on a number of pine cones just now.

Jim examined Jefferson. First examining the dog’s lymph node and then listening to either side of the dog’s chest.

While everything sounded fine on Jefferson’s right side, Jim detected a very small heart murmur when listening to Jefferson’s left side.

Jim also noted that the lymph node was prominent but not enlarged. Dogs can get lymphoma.

Nothing arose to give cause for concern but in view of the chewing of pine cones, Jim thought that giving Jefferson an injection of ‘Lepto’ would be no bad thing.

11:20 All done!

I subsequently did a web search on ‘Lepto’ and came across this on the Vetstreet website: (in part)

It’s scary to think that a fun stroll through the woods or swim in a favorite watering hole can lead to a terrible illness, but it can –– for you as well as your dog. Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria spread through soil, water, and the urine of infected animals, and if not caught early it can be deadly. There is a vaccine available for the most common subtypes of the bacteria that infect dogs, but it’s not always a recommended part of the routine vaccination protocol. Ask your veterinarian if the leptospirosis vaccine is right for your dog.


Leptospirosis is a potentially serious disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans. It affects dogs but can also infect a wide variety of domestic and wild animals as well as humans.

The organism is usually spread through infected urine, but contaminated water or soil, reproductive secretions, and even consumption of infected tissues can also transmit the infection. Introduction of the organism through skin wounds can also occur. Common carriers of the organism include raccoons, opossums, rodents, skunks, and dogs.

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

11 thoughts on “Visiting the Vet – Jefferson’s heart!

  1. Unfortunately, I know of an 18 month old girl (a relative of a friend) who died after being infected with this bacterium. It is believed that she picked it up playing and running in bare feet on her family’s house deck, which had apparently been contaminated by a possum or rodent. It was a very virulent infection and the hospital couldn’t save her. Hopefully a rare event but I guess it serves as a reminder to everyone to take care that any cuts or scratches on their bodies (or their dogs’ bodies) do not come into contact with soil or any less-than-sterile surfaces.
    I certainly haven’t heard of a vaccine for this condition, for either dogs or humans, so will check it out. Thanks for this information Paul.


  2. This was new to me, and I found it very interesting.. I know at times one of our nature ponds/small fishing lakes is closed due to a pond algae that I know can make dogs ill if they swim in it.. Large notices at times are posted to keep dogs from jumping in.. I do not remember what the name of that is..
    Interesting too that humans can be susceptible to it also .. I hope Jefferson recovers from his cough etc..
    Great little post


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