The bacterial infection in Sydney that could significantly harm your dog
Recently there has been an outbreak of leptospirosis which is a bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected rats in the inner-city suburbs of Sydney. It is a powerful dog disease that has the ability to kill pets in 48 hours and has led to the death of 7 dogs in the last three months. This infection causes kidney and liver damage which can lead to death. The cause of the outbreak is not confirmed but it believed to be the result of changes in the movement of rat populations due to construction activities.
Signs to look out for if your dog is affected:
- Your dog becomes lethargic and reluctant to move
- Lack of appetite
- Develop haemorrhages on their skin,
- Blood present in their urine or they don’t urinate at all which is a sign of kidney failure
- They become abnormally quiet
What you can do:
There is a vaccine for leptospirosis which is available but not commonly prescribed in New South Wales since the disease is so rare and has not been identified in a long time. The disease is more prevalent in Queensland which is why it is commonly prescribed for dogs there. The RSPCA NSW are advising dog owners to take their pet to get vaccinated against leptospirosis and are offering the vaccination for free with every annual or triannual vaccination until the end of August 2019.
Other precautions you can take are to:
- Keep your dog away from puddles, lakes and ponds,
- Remove food scraps that could attract rodents, and
- Wash your hands before feeding and touching your dog.
- Regularly clean your dog’s feeding bowl
- Clean areas of the house that rats may visit/live in.
The chance of the average dog being infected by this disease is relatively low but it still important to keep an eye out on where your furry friend puts its nose and mouth.