2020 Leptospirosis update

2020 Leptospirosis update

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that Sydney’s dog owner population was bracing itself as we worked hard to contain the outbreak of the bacteria – ‘lepto’ that could infect our pets and make us very sick too.

Through a concerted, well-organised and rapid vaccination programme, at Southern Cross Vet we immunised over 2,000 dogs in the community and herd immunity arguably was achieved.

One year on, we have started to see this lethal bacteria rear it’s ugly head again with cases in the Inner West including a fatality.


 What does ‘lepto’ do to the body?

Leptospirosis is a toxic bacteria that causes kidney failure, liver failure and abscesses through these organs. Untreated and unvaccinated dogs who contract this disease can develop a massive inflammatory response that ultimately is lethal.

Worse still, lepto can jump from pet dogs to humans.

 What do we recommend?

Alongside the infectious disease experts at The University of Sydney, we’re are recommending immunisation of all dogs within a 3km radius of Newtown and Surry Hills:


We are also recommending the vaccination of all ‘at-risk’ dogs in the metropolitan region.

What do we consider ‘at risk’ dogs?

1.       If you see many rats in your neighbourhood or places you frequent

2.       If your dog has a strong predator drive and chases rats

3.       If you have stagnant water in the form of puddles in laneways, ditches etc that could be accessed by rats

If your lifestyle and dog meets the above 3 criteria, it is our recommendation to get your dog immunised.

How is the vaccine delivered?

By a small injection under the skin, followed up with a booster in 2-4 weeks and annually thereafter.

 Are there side effects?

Some lethargy is to be expected after the vaccination and the solution can sting a little when given.

Make a booking or contact a Surry Hills Vet for more information