There have been numerous confirmed cases of Leptospirosis in Sydney and there have now been confirmed cases in the Southern Highlands, the South coast and recent reports of a case in the ACT.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be spread by rats. Dogs can become infected from exposure to the rats, their urine, infected water or contaminated food and soil. Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, meaning it can be spread to humans.
Signs and symptoms:
- increased drinking
- vomiting & diarrhoea
- yellow discolouration of the gums, eyes & skin
How to protect your dog
There is a vaccine available that may provide protection. There are multiple strains of leptospirosis and only one strain is covered by the vaccine. The leptospirosis vaccine has not been routinely included in our core vaccination protocols, but the AVA, (Australian Veterinary Association) has recently changed its recommendations based on the emerging cases. What this means is that even if your dog visits us regularly and is “up to date and fully vaccinated”, they may still not be vaccinated against leptospirosis.
Due to the recent diagnosis of cases in the surrounding areas, it is important to consider the risk of leptospirosis to your dog and whether a vaccination is warranted.
If your dog has not been previously vaccinated against leptospirosis, they will receive 2 vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart. Boosters are then given every 12 months.
Aside from vaccinating your dog, other measures you can take to limit your dogs’ exposure include avoiding letting your dog drink from puddles, avoiding letting them swim in waters that may be contaminated and avoiding areas with confirmed cases.
If you would like to vaccinate your dog, please call us on 48211966 to arrange an appointment or book online by heading clicking the calendar icon to the right of the screen.