• Northern Illawarra Veterinary Hospital

Leptospirosis - is my dog at risk?

Updated: May 20, 2020

There has been a recent outbreak of leptospirosis in the Inner West suburbs of Sydney namely Glebe and Surry Hills.

The 7 confirmed cases of the disease all resulted in death of the affected dogs.

Leptospirosis is bacterial disease that can be contracted via contact with rats, mice or stagnant water.

It is transmitted by contact with infected urine via mucous membranes, open wounds or damaged skin.

Leptospirosis a potentially deadly disease can which can cause acute kidney failure in dogs but may also affect other organs such as the liver.

Signs and symptoms may include

- fever and lethargy

- decreased appetite

- vomiting or abdominal pain

- reduced urination or blood in urine

- hemorrhages on the skin

It is a zoonotic disease meaning it can also spread to humans.

Should you vaccinate your dog against Leptospirosis?

The current advice is to vaccinate all dogs living or going for walks in the inner west and city areas.

There have been no further cases reported in any other parts of Sydney and hence vaccination may not be necessary however check with your regular veterinarian.

Vaccination still does not guarantee complete protection against the disease as there a multiple strains of the bacteria and it hasn't yet been confirmed which strain is causing the infection.