Veterinary charity PDSA has advised owners to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date. The announcement follows a confirmed case of leptospirosis – a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection.
Fiona Gregge, senior vet at Aberdeen PDSA Pet Hospital, said: “Leptospirosis is quite rare; the bacteria are spread through the urine of an infected animal, often rats. But flooding can increase the risk of contracting the disease, which causes symptoms including vomiting, jaundice, lethargy, fever and organ failure – even with treatment it is often fatal.”
The dog that had contracted leptospirosis received intensive treatment, but sadly died despite the best efforts of the vets and nurses at Aberdeen PDSA.
Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, which means it can be passed from animals to humans, although the chances of this happening are very small.
Fiona continued: “It’s incredibly sad to see a pet suffering like that, especially when a quick vaccination or booster could have prevented this. I’d advise all owners to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date, but particularly those in areas that have experienced flooding in recent months. Leptospirosis usually requires an annual booster, but check with your vet if you’re not sure.”
For more information about vaccinations go to the PDSA’s website www.pdsa.org.uk/pethealth.