We have recently received confirmation of a Leptospirosis case on the Lower North Shore. This dog was from the Artarmon / Crows Nest area. Previously we have only seen cases from the Inner West.
Leptospirosis is a highly contagious, potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause acute kidney failure and liver disease in dogs. Dogs become infected by contact with rat urine or indirectly via contaminated water or soil. They can also become infected by hunting and eating rats.
Importantly, humans can be infected with the disease as well – either through contact with rat urine or via an infected dog.
The current recommendation is to vaccinate all dogs living in a 5km radius of Crows Nest / Artarmon, or dogs who frequent this area. A vaccine is given initially, followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later, then yearly after that to ensure protection.