Sydney Leptospirosis Outbreak – Is your pet at Risk?

Sydney Leptospirosis Outbreak – Is your pet at Risk?

I’m sure some of you might have heard or seen the recent news articles about the deadly bacterial disease outbreak, leptospirosis, in Sydney. Over the past few weeks, Dr Joe and Dr Katy, have been keeping up-to-date with the reports and wanted to ease any uncertainty you might have.

The information:

  • 6 confirmed cases of Leptospirosis in dogs over the past month
  • All located in Inner City Sydney (Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Glebe)
  • Suspected caused from excessive rats flushed out from recent construction in the city and exacerbated by recent flooding

The Disease Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis is caused by a bacterium which can affect any animal, including people. The bacterium is spread through animal’s urine, mainly rats (or cattle), which can then contaminate water, particularly stagnant water. Once infected the bacteria can cause many different symptoms in animals, this can range from lethargy, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting to kidney failure, liver failure and even death.

Our Position:

Right now, the risk of Leptospirosis around Lindfield is VERY LOW. The cases are all located within Inner City Sydney and no cases have been confirmed on the North Shore. If you are concerned your dog might have contracted leptospirosis, please contact us ASAP and book in a consultation with one of our Vets.

Leptospirosis and pets

For our Canine Friends:

Currently our best advice to reduce the risk of leptospirosis is:

  • If you take your dog into the Inner City of Sydney or into Rural areas then we recommend vaccinating your dog against Leptospirosis. Your canine friend will need 2 injections 2-4 weeks apart to be fully protected for a year.
  • Avoid stagnant water: Don’t let your dog drink from puddles and keep them on a leash to stop them playing in stagnant water.
  • Control and avoid rodents: Try to avoid areas with lots of rats. If you have rats around your house keep your pet inside to limit exposure, and aim to reduce the numbers of rat’s present (pet safe methods only please).
  • If you would like to book in for a Leptospirosis risk evaluation consultation and vaccination, please contact the clinic or click here to book online.

What about Cats?

Cats can pick up leptospirosis, not usually from stagnant water, but from catching and eating rodents. However, they do not generally get sick from the bacterium. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine currently available for cats. Keeping them inside reduces the risk as it is impossible to stop them hunting rodents.

And my rat?

Pet rats are generally kept indoors away from wild rats and therefore they are not at risk of picking up Leptospirosis and are not a risk to your other pets (or yourselves).