WHAT IS IT?
Leptospirosis can cause a severe and often fatal bacterial infection in dogs. The primary risk factor is exposure to rats or areas frequented by rats.
Humans can also become infected either through contact with rat urine or via an infected dog.
WHERE IS IT?
A case of Leptospirosis has now been confirmed in the Artarmon/Crows Nest area of Sydney.
Previously case clusters had been localised to the Inner West suburbs of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Glebe, Redfern and more recently Paddington, Balmain and Newtown.
HOW DO DOGS BECOME INFECTED?
Dogs can become infected through:
- contact with rat urine
- contact with water or soil contaminated with rat urine
- seeking out and eating rats.
HOW CAN WE AVOID INFECTION?
Ways to prevent infection include:
- avoiding exposure to rats or areas frequented by rats
- preventing dogs from drinking or playing in stagnant water and mud
- Leptospirosis vaccination if indicated.
WHAT ABOUT VACCINATION?
The updated recommendation from The University of Sydney is for vaccination against Leptospirosis in dogs which are:
- living within a 5km radius of Surry Hills, Paddington, Balmain or Crows Nest
- or in contact with rats.
In dogs vaccination involves two doses of vaccine in the initial course 2-4 weeks apart, followed by annual booster vacinations.