Due to the ongoing wet weather that we have seen across the east coast of Australia, an urgent warning has been issued by pet insurers about a bacterial disease called Leptospirosis, which dogs can catch from ponds and puddles.
Leptospirosis is a life-threatening disease caused by ponds and puddles becoming contaminated with rodent urine which carries disease. Dogs can catch Leptospirosis when they splash or drink the contaminated water. Early warning signs include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and shivering.
The disease can affect both humans and dogs, leading to kidney failure and meningitis. Humans catch the disease in the same way their dogs can – through exposure to contaminated water and mud.
Symptoms to look for include:
· Sudden fever and illness
· Sore muscles; reluctance to move
· Stiffness in muscles and legs
· Shivering and weakness
· Lack of appetite
· Increased thirst and urination—may be a sign of chronic renal (kidney) failure
· Rapid dehydration
· Vomiting, possibly with blood
· Bloody vaginal discharge
· Dark red-speckled gums
· Yellow skin and/or whites of eyes
· Spontaneous cough
· Difficulty breathing, fast breathing, irregular pulse
The good news is you can vaccinate against Leptospirosis, which is highly recommended for anyone who is living in rain-affected areas.
If you want to find out more about how to prevent this disease or how to protect your dog – speak to your vet.