Leptospirosis (Lepto)

 

What is Leptospirosis australis?

Leptospirosis australis is a potentially fatal bacteria that can infect dogs in the Darwin region. As the disease can also be transmitted to humans its prevention has become a significant health issue. Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease which can be caught from contact with any area of ground contaminated by the urine of rats, native rodents and other animals such as possums. The disease is more prevalent in the wet season as the urine can be carried through water. Although considered uncommon,leptospirosis can be fatal and occurs in both wild and domestic animals including dogs; it is considered to be rare in cats.

 

What are the effects?

It can affect many parts of the body and, in severe cases, causes liver damage, jaundice, kidney failure and internal bleeding. The infectious organism is spread via contaminated urine, blood, tissue and can survive in water and soil for weeks to months.

 

How is it prevented?

A vaccine against Leptospirosis australis, the most prevalent type of leptospirosisbacteria in Darwin, is available for dogs. Two (2) injections four (4) weeks apart are required initially, followed by a booster every 6 months. Due to the potentially fatal nature of the disease in dogs and the possibility of human infection, we recommend dogs be vaccinated against leptospirosis.