Sadly, as of November 2020 there have been 12 fatalities in dogs due to a sudden Leptospirosis outbreak in Sydney. Here are some facts you need to know.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis (often referred to as Lepto for short) is a bacterial infection that travels throughout the entire body via the blood stream, causing organ dysfunction/failure and internal bleeding. It can be fatal in as little as 48 hours.
What do I need to know?
In 2019 there was a sudden outbreak seeing 8 confirmed cases reported from Sydney Suburbs; Glebe, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Redfern.
In August 2020 there was another sudden outbreak with another 4 confirmed cases in Sydney Suburbs Newtown, Balmain, Crows Next and Paddington.
To our knowledge there have been a total of 12 cases, all of which have unfortunately been fatal.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be spread to humans too.
How is it spread?
The bacteria favours warm, moist environments, ponds and stagnant water and areas exposed to flooding. The infection is often contracted when the dog is exposed to infected rodent urine in ponds or wet soil in poorly drained areas.
What can I do to minimize the risk to my dog?
Due to the fatal nature of this disease, we recommend avoiding taking your pets to these parts of Sydney where possible, however if your dog must travel there with you, there are vaccines available to cover them for Leptospirosis.
Initially your dog will require two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart and then annual re-vaccination to maintain immunity. It is not safe to travel until the vaccination is in full effect – about 10 days after the second vaccination.
Avoid any stagnant water or places where there has been flooding, keep your dog on lead when walking and DO NOT allow to swim in or drink dirty water. Again, it is advisable to arrange alternative options where possible.
If you have upcoming travel plans to Sydney with your pets please phone us on 6230 2262 for more information.