What is leptospirosis?

Christine Griebsch

writer

Christine Griebsch

Specialist and Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

Jacqueline Norris

writer

Jacqueline Norris

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

Recently reported cases of the often fatal bacterial infection leptospirosis in dogs in Sydney have raised the issue of animal diseases that also affect humans.

This zoonotic disease is spread by rats and other rodents. However, this latest cluster in dogs has not been accompanied by human cases in the Sydney area so far; dog cases aren’t always accompanied by human cases nearby.

So what is leptospirosis? And what can we do to protect ourselves and our pets from this potentially fatal disease?

There have been at least six confirmed cases of canine leptospirosis so far in Sydney’s inner west and city in 2019, with three in May and June. Five of the six dogs died.

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Christine Griebsch

writer

Christine Griebsch

Specialist and Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine, University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

Jacqueline Norris

writer

Jacqueline Norris

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

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