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Canberra Today 3°/5° | Friday, August 19, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Potentially fatal dog disease found in areas of ACT

Dogs can contract the disease when playing in or drinking contaminated water such as ponds and puddles. Photo: Curtin Veterinary Clinic, Facebook.

THE Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is warning all dog owners to be aware of the presence of Leptospirosis in the ACT, a disease which has caused the death of a dog this week.

According to the AVA, despite appropriate treatment, the dog was unable to be saved as it is often too late to reverse the severe damage the disease causes.

It follows the detection of a number of cases in Sydney and the NSW South Coast where many of the infected dogs have not survived.

Dogs can contract the disease when playing in or drinking contaminated water such as ponds and puddles. The bacterium are most commonly spread through contact with soil, water or vegetation that has been contaminated with urine from infected animals, commonly rats and mice.

The infection affects the liver and kidneys, and less commonly the respiratory system and brain.  Common clinical signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, jaundice, inappetence, changed frequency of urination and nosebleeds.

The AVA is recommending that owners get their dogs vaccinated against the disease in light of the outbreaks.

“Vaccination offers protection against Leptospirosis,” said Dr Michael Hayward, President of the AVA ACT Division.

“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 Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) has similarly urged that owners get their dogs vaccinated.

“Our Animal Management team are on the lookout for symptoms in any dogs that pass through the Council pound facility and strongly encourages all dog owners to reach out to their local vet for more information and to book in for a vaccination.”

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