PIA warns of heightened leptospirosis risk amidst heavy rain

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With parts of New South Wales recently enduring a drenching, Pet Insurance Australia has issued a stark warning to pet owners about the rapidly increasing risk of leptospirosis in dogs, stressing the urgent need for awareness and preventive measures to protect pets.

“This is very concerning for many pet owners, particularly in NSW, where we are witnessing some incredible weather events that could cause a surge in leptospirosis cases,” PIA spokesperson Nadia Crighton said.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection transmitted through rodents’ urine, poses a significant threat to dogs, especially those drinking from contaminated ponds and puddles. The threat of dogs coming into contact with leptospirosis in flooded dog-friendly areas and puddles is a cause for concern.

“It’s about informing people so they understand the dangers of allowing their pets to frolic in puddles and waterways after a deluge of rain, particularly in areas where rats are present,” Crighton said.

While a vaccine is available and commonly used in Queensland, PIA urges dog owners, especially in high-risk areas, to seek vaccination from their local veterinarian.

Early vaccination is crucial in preventing leptospirosis. The vaccine, proven safe and effective, is administered in two doses, with a booster shot required annually. Pet owners are urged to consult their local veterinarian about vaccinating their beloved companions, especially in high-risk areas.

“Leptospirosis can be effectively prevented,” Crighton said.

“Seek vaccination to provide a strong shield of protection for your dog, especially if you live in a high-construction area where rats could be prevalent. Vaccination is a proven and reliable preventive measure.”

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