Published on: 29 Apr, 2022
Here’s what you need to know about Leptospirosis
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a disease that can affect both dogs and humans, caused by bacteria found specifically in infected animal tissues and urine. Leptospira bacteria infection may cause liver and kidney damage; however, it can also affect the nervous and respiratory systems and in extreme cases, cause death, according to the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA). The bacteria can live in water, soil or mud or be carried by rodents.
Areas with confirmed cases
Cases of leptospirosis in dogs have been detected in both the NT and NSW.
The known hotspots for leptospirosis exposure in the NT are;
The Fogg Dam and Harrison Dam areas in Greater Darwin
The Katherine district
Cases of leptospirosis have also been recently detected in the following areas in NSW, claiming two dogs in Sydney and leaving another critically ill;
The Hunter region
Symptoms of Leptospirosis may include vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), lethargy, changed frequency of urination and bleeding. A dog displaying any of these symptoms should be tested immediately.
What you should do
Be cautious when out and about with your dog; outdoor activities such as walking, camping and swimming, may increase the risk of infection. Avoid stagnant water, mud and waterways where rodents may live and avoid letting dogs chase or eat rats.
Please contact your vet to discuss vaccination against Leptospirosis and additional preventative measures.
Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)
Companion Animal Network
Two by Two Veterinary Hospital