A veterinary practice in South Wales is advising dog owners to consider having their pets vaccinated against Leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease, a severe bacterial disease that can affect dogs and many other animals (including humans).
A new strain of Leptospirosis, “Bratislava” (previously unknown in the UK), is being spread through the urine of infected dogs. The disease has killed four dogs in Somerset with others in Bristol and Cardiff requiring veterinary treatment and care. Symptoms of the infection include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, high temperature and jaundice.
Katrina Cordell, a veterinary surgeon at Budget Vets explains, “The disease is carried by rats in rivers and stagnant water. Many dogs love to play in water and those without the correct vaccination are susceptible to contracting Leptospirosis. Therefore, it is particularly important that dog owners seek advice to check their pet is vaccinated against this new strain of the disease. It should also be noted that previous Leptospirosis vaccines are not effective against this new strain of the disease, pet owners should ask for ‘Lepto 4’ which will immunise against the latest strain.”
To help minimise the risk of the disease spreading in south Wales, Budget Vets are subsidising the difference in cost between the previous vaccine and “Lepto 4” for their own customers.
Commenting on their decision to cover the difference in price, Katrina Cordell said, “It is our responsibility as pet care professionals to do what we can to safeguard the animals we look after. There have been confirmed cases of this new strain of Leptospirosis in the areas we cover and hopefully our offer to subsidise the cost of the vaccinations will help to stop the spread of the disease.”