In dogs, the incidence and seroprevalence of Leptospira spp. appears to be increasing, particularly in North America where it is considered a re-emerging disease. Research on leptospirosis regional distribution and dog-related risk factors is limited in Canada and does not include currently used clinical testing methodology such as PCR. Study objectives were: 1) Evaluate the temporal and spatial distribution of canine leptospirosis in Canada, and 2) Describe dog, geographic, and temporal risk factors for leptospirosis. This repeat cross-sectional study evaluated canine leptospirosis PCR testing (n = 10,437 dogs) submitted by Canadian veterinarians between July 2009 and May 2018. Logistic regression was used to identify significant risk factors for test-positive dogs. One or more positive leptospirosis PCR test results were reported from 880 dogs (8.4%). Number and proportion positive varied by year; number of dogs positive ranged from 12 (2010) to 367 (2017), while proportion positive ranged from 4.8% (2011) to 14.2% (2017). There was regional variation with the proportion positive ranging from 1.0% (3/307; Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba) to 18.5% (104/562; Nova Scotia). The final multivariable model identified male (OR=1.3), young (≤ 1.0 year; OR=2.1), toy breed (OR=3.3), urban (OR=1.3) dogs to be at significantly increased odds for leptospirosis. Significant 2-way interactions of season with both province and year highlighted the complex spatial and temporal influences on leptospirosis occurrence. This research builds on prior studies on canine leptospirosis and provides important new disease distribution and risk factor information for Canada. Our findings will inform veterinary recommendations for leptospirosis diagnosis and prevention in Canada.
1. Recall current temporal and spatial distribution of canine leptospirosis in Canada
2. Describe dog, geographic, and temporal risk factors for canine leptospirosis in Canada