Leptospirosis Outbreak in Sydney

Leptospirosis Outbreak in Sydney

If you live in the Sydney metro area and have a pampered pooch, you may have heard about the recent scare of Leptospirosis in the area. Leptospirosis is a bacterium which is transmitted through contact with stagnant water bodies and is often transmitted from the urine of rats in the inner city area.

The signs of Leptospirosis are very varied, and range from general lethargy and malaise, urinary issues, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, and muscle soreness up to severe kidney damage, liver damage and in extremely severe cases can cause death. In case of any of these issues, it is worthwhile consulting a veterinarian to discuss diagnostic and treatment plans for your beloved canine companion.

The question of course; what can you do to prevent your furry family member from contracting the disease? The main thing is to try and prevent your dog from drinking from puddles and stagnant ponds, especially in the inner city areas. There is a vaccine available against Leptospirosis. If you are concerned about your dog getting the disease, then we can give the vaccine to your dog. However, it is unclear exactly how many strains and how much cross-protection this vaccination provides against the current strain which may be prevalent in the Sydney metro area.

At Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic, we recommend giving one initial vaccine and one booster vaccine 3 – 4 weeks later. This is following the guidelines for the vaccine use outlined by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccine Guidelines Group (WSAVA VGG). Please call one of our friendly clinics if you have any concerns or would like to consider vaccinating your animal against the bacteria.

Finally, it is very important to be aware that Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can infect humans. If you are concerned in any way that your furry friend has any of the above signs, you should wear gloves to handle your animal and any bodily fluids to prevent yourself from contracting the disease.

Please feel free to book our free Lepto risk assessment at any of our clinics to discuss any of the above information or with any questions, you may have.