19th January 2021 – Leptospirosis update
Update and a summary about canine leptospirosis cases in Sydney over the past few months. In August, four cases were identified – in Newtown, Crows Nest, Balmain and Paddington.
The dog from Balmain made a full recovery. The other dogs sadly had to be euthanized. The dog from Paddington had been fully vaccinated against leptospirosis 10 months prior to presentation with the currently available vaccine (Protech® C2i, Boehringer Ingelheim, Australia) containing serovar Copenhageni. The causative serovar could not be determined, likely due to insufficient time for seroconversion.
In September a case was identified in Firefly, 300km north of Sydney. The dog was euthanised due to anuric renal failure. The causative serovar could not be determined likely due to insufficient time for seroconversion.
In October a case was diagnosed in a dog from Cheltenham. This dog is a working dog used for sheep herding. In this case serovar Hardjo was identified as the causative serovar. The reservoir hosts for this serovar are sheep and cattle. The dog developed CKD stage 3 and remains stable.
In December 2020 a case was identified in Annandale in a 9-week-old puppy. The dog had been adopted from a farm in Armidale 12 days prior. The dog sadly was euthanised due to anuric renal failure. The causative serovar could not be determined due to insufficient time for seroconversion.
We recommend vaccination against Leptospirosis in dogs living within a 5km radius of Surry Hills, in Annandale, Balmain or Crows Nest or their immediately surrounding suburbs or if the dog is in contact with rats.
The University of Sydney is continuing to investigate Leptospirosis cases to determine which serovars are involved and if there is any specific source of infection which can be identified.
In a subsequent study we are investigating the immune response and its implication on the diagnosis of natural infection after vaccination with the currently available monovalent vaccine containing Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni.
Leptospirosis may be suspected in any dog with:
– Nonspecific clinical signs like lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea which can precede more obvious clinical signs like icterus
– +/- hyperbilirubinaemia, elevated liver enzymes
– +/- glucosuria
Important information to ask:
– Is there any contact with rats?
– Is there any contact with stagnant water (eg ponds)?
– Which area is the animal from?
– Has there been any travel into areas in which there have been reported cases (Annandale, Balmain, Newtown, Crows Nest, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Redfern, Glebe, Paddington, Cheltenham, Firefly)?
To read more information on leptospirosis click here
Is your dog vaccinated for leptospirosis? Contact your local Sydney Animal Hospital;
Newtown (02) 9519 4111
69-73 Erskineville Road Erskineville
Inner West (02) 9516 1466
1A Northumberland Ave Stanmore
Norwest (02) 8883 0411
Unit 8, 1-3 Celebration Dr Bella Vista
Kellyville (02) 8883 0533
106 Windsor Rd Kellyville
Newport (02) 9997 4609
1 Palm Rd Newport
Avalon (02) 9918 0833
710 Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach
Written by Dr Christine Griebsch Dr med vet DipECVIM-CA (Small Animal) EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine. Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine, Unit Head Medicine.
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney.