Until this year (2019) no known cases of Leptospirosis in dogs had been reported in the city of Sydney. Since February there were 7 fatalities within the space of three months, including 2 more cases which have recently been reported by the University of Sydney with their fates presently unknown.
It has been suggested that the reason behind the sudden surface of Leptospirosis is due to the increase of construction work being done in Sydney and as a result, we are seeing an increase in rat movement.
The Sydney suburbs where Leptosporosis has been reported are Surry Hills, Glebe and Darlinghurst.
What is Leptosporosis?
Leptosporosis is deadly, it is a bacterial infection that causes haemorrhaging, organ failure and brain swelling. It thrives in moist and humid areas and is spread through animal urine and animal tissue. Rats are the most common carrier and it is not only deadly to dogs, but also to humans.
An infected dog may become lethargic, abnormally quiet and can present with a fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, blood in their urine and in severe cases are unable to produce urine as a result of kidney.
How is it transmitted?
For both you and your pet, Leptosporosis can be transmitted by being bitten by an infected rodent, or if you come in to contact with infected water, mud or soil. An example of this would be if a rat urinates in stagnant water and your pet decides to drink the water, think puddles.
The current recommendation for dog owners is to keep your dog away from puddles and ponds, making sure to keep them on lead.
Is there a vaccination available?
Yes, there is a commercial vaccine available for the strain that is currently being seen in Sydney. Please speak to your vet today on how you can best prevent your dog against Leptosporosis.
For further information regarding Leptosporosis, please visit;