Dog owners across NSW have been warned that Leptospirosis, a potentially fatal dog disease, has been found in the state.

Following the detection of the disease on the Central Coast, Central and Northern beaches areas of Sydney, and the NSW South Coast, The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is suggesting that all resident and visiting dogs be vaccinated against the disease.

Two dogs in the St George’s Basin area of the NSW South Coast were recently diagnosed with the disease and unfortunately were unable to be saved, because despite appropriate treatment, it is often too late to reverse the severe damage the disease causes.

Dr Michael Hayward, President of the AVA ACT Division, said that vaccination offers protection against Leptospirosis.

“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.”

The bacterial disease affects the liver and kidneys, sometimes the respiratory system and brain. Signs to keep an eye out for include vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, lethargy, inappetence, changed frequency of urination, and nosebleeds.

It is most commonly spread through contact with soil, water, or vegetation that has been contaminated with urine from infected animals, commonly mice and rats.

The AVA advices owners to contact their local veterinarian to confirm whether their dog’s vaccinations are up to date.

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