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Leptospirosis – Dangerous Disease Alert May 2021.

The Team at Pittwater Animal Hospital is sad to inform you that one of our very good clients young dog, from the Narrabeen/Elanora area, contracted the serious infectious disease leptospirosis at the end of May 2021. The dog had not been out of area, so contracted leptospirosis on the Northern Beaches. Sadly the dog’s condition deteriorated markedly on the 2nd of June and he died at the specialist centre, NVS.

  Leptospirosis FAQs

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can kill dogs in 48 hours and can also be spread to humans.

Leptospirosis had not been diagnosed on the Northern Beaches before. It is a disease spread by rodents and is also spread through ground water. A number of your dogs were vaccinated against leptospirosis after it was detected in the inner city in 2019. This had not been a standard vaccination, so many dogs are not routinely vaccinated.

Pittwater Animal Hospital has changed our vaccine recommendations for dogs. We are recommending leptospirosis vaccinations be given to all dogs in this area.

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to check on your dog’s vaccination status or to enquire about our vaccine clinic.

Dogs at risk include:

  • Dogs that walk off lead, lick at puddles or swim regularly in creeks
  • Any dog who lives on properties that has wild rodents
  • Dogs who sniff a lot in the underbrush

Dogs contract leptospirosis when their mucous membranes or broken skin comes in contact with infected urine from rodents. This includes urine contaminated soil, water, food or bedding.

Symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, shivering, extreme lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and jaundice (yellow gums). 

Intensive supportive care is needed to treat an infected dog. Rapid diagnosis is essential. 

To vaccinate a dog for the first time, your dog will need one injection then a follow up injection in 2-4 weeks. This can be done along with their usual vaccinations or given alone.

  Click Here to Make an Appointment

Or email

to check on your dog’s vaccination status or to enquire about our vaccine clinic.

Leptospirosis is a serious disease of dogs. Several cases of this disease were reported around the Surry Hills Area in 2019. This is the first case in our Northern Beaches area and we are very concerned. 

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is spread by contact with excretions of infected animals, usually with the urine of rats and mice. It is a disease that can be spread to humans. Cases are more prevalent in wet conditions.

At Pittwater Animal Hospital we strongly recommend your dogs are vaccinated regularly against distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, plus the coughing diseases bortadella brontiseptica and parainfluenza. Sadly not all dogs on the Northern Beaches are vaccinated so we continue to have outbreaks of canine cough. Pittwater Animal Hospital now recommends regular leptospirosis vaccination.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that causes acute kidney failure in dogs. Other organs such as the liver can also be involved. Antibiotics and intensive supportive care is needed to treat infected dogs but is not always successful. Our advice is to avoid your dogs drinking from puddles especially in areas where rats and mice may be present. If your dog is unwell, a full examination with one of your trusted veterinarians is recommended. As usual, it is best to wash your hands after touching your pets.

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