Idexx Launches 10-Minute Test for Lepto

The SNAP Lepto Test “is a huge advancement,” one veterinarian says.

Dogs infected with leptospirosis display early clinical signs such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

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Idexx Laboratories Inc. today introduced an in-clinic test that can diagnose canine leptospirosis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection, within 10 minutes.

The rapid diagnosis is a big improvement over the most common testing method, Idexx reported. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) is performed at university and commercial laboratories and may take up to a week to deliver results.

“The SNAP Lepto Test represents an important step forward in helping veterinarians quickly and affordably detect antibodies to dangerous Leptospira infections in dogs,” said Jonathan W. Ayers, president and CEO of the Westbrook, Maine, company.

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that usually strikes dogs, cattle, horses, pigs and wildlife. The disease is frequently spread through contact with infected urine.

“It most commonly affects young adult large-breed dogs that swim and run alongside wildlife hosts,” Idexx noted. “Over the past 10 years, the disease has also been found in small dogs living in urban environments, likely due to encounters with rodents and wildlife hosts who have wandered into the city.”

Richard Goldstein, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, the chief medical officer at Animal Medical Center in New York City, called the new test “a key to both determining the true prevalence of leptospirosis and ensuring that most dogs with the disease are accurately identified.”

“It is a huge advancement in the detection of leptospirosis and a vast improvement over what veterinarians had before,” Dr. Goldstein said.

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