Leptospirosis, a potentially fatal dog disease found in areas of ACT

30 Jun 2022

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) wants all dog owners to be aware of a very serious infection of dogs, Leptospirosis, which has been detected in the ACT with one dog dying this week. 

Unfortunately, the dog was unable to be saved, because despite appropriate treatment, it is often too late to reverse the severe damage the disease causes.   

This bacterial disease affects the liver and kidneys, sometimes the respiratory system and brain. Common clinical signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, jaundice, inappetence, changed frequency of urination and nosebleeds. The bacterium are most commonly spread through contact with soil, water or vegetation that has been contaminated with urine from infected animals, commonly rats and mice. There has been a number of cases in Sydney and the NSW South Coast. In the recent NSW outbreaks, many of the infected dogs have not survived.  

“Vaccination offers protection against Leptospirosis” said Dr Michael Hayward, President of the Australian Veterinary Association ACT Division.

“Vaccination, combined with preventing dogs swimming or playing in lakes, ponds or other sources of stagnant water (which could be contaminated) can help minimise the risk of Leptospirosis infection,” said Dr Hayward. 

Please contact your local veterinarian to confirm whether your dog’s vaccinations are up to date or to get more information about vaccinating your dog for a variety of deadly diseases including Leptospirosis.