What is leptospirosis?Posted on July 25, 2019There have been recent reports of a leptosprirosis outbreak in certain parts of Sydney – specifically the inner west suburbs. Leptospirosis is a disease that can infect both animals and humans, so owners are encouraged to remain alert to any symptoms in their pets or themselves.RSPCA NSW is offering FREE C2i vaccinations at the RSPCA Sydney Veterinary Hospital when you book in for a C3, C4 or C5 vaccination for one month (27 July to 31 August 2019). Standalone C2i vaccines will be $30. Please contact the RSPCA Sydney Veterinary Hospital to book in an appointment.Below, we’ve broken down some general information regarding the recent outbreak.What is leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can infect both humans and animals. It is caused by a bacteria (genus Leptospira) that thrives in moist and humid areas, and is spread through animal urine and animal tissue. Rats are the most common carrier.How is it transmitted?You or your pet can catch leptospirosis if you are bitten by a carrier or if you come into contact with infected water, mud or soil. For example, if a rat urinates into a stagnant body of water and your pet drinks that water, they are at risk of infection.The bacteria can enter the body through skin abrasions and cuts or occasionally via the gums, mouth, nose and eyes.What are the symptoms?Signs of leptospirosis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy. Owners are encouraged to be especially mindful of these symptoms if their dog has recently been in contact with a body of stagnant water. Please seek immediate veterinary treatment for your pet if you notice any of the above signs.Symptoms in humans can include fever, severe headache, sore muscles, chills, vomiting and red eyes.How long does leptospirosis survive for?Leptospirosis bacteria can survive in moist or humid areas for months. Reservoir hosts (such as rats) allow for the continued spread and contamination of the environment.How do I prevent my pet from catching it? Owners are encouraged to get their pets vaccinated against leptospirosis at their local veterinary clinic.For one month until the end of August 2019, RSPCA Sydney Veterinary Hospital will be offering free C2i leptospirosis vaccinations when you book in for a C3, C4 or C5 vaccination. Standalone C2i vaccines will be $30. Please contact the RSPCA Sydney Veterinary Hospital to book in an appointment.Is there a vaccine available for cats?Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available for cats. RSPCA NSW strongly advises that cat owners within the affected areas keep their cats contained indoors to protect their pets.Please seek immediate veterinary attention should any of your pets present the above signs, as the disease is fatal if left untreatedI adopted my pet from the RSPCA. Is she already vaccinated against leptospirosis? Dogs rehomed through RSPCA NSW are given the C3, C4 or C5 vaccine to protect against a variety of different viruses.Due to the relatively new and unusual outbreak of leptospirosis in inner-Sydney, this vaccination has not been offered by RSPCA NSW or any other similar veterinary clinics before. This means dogs and cats rehomed from RPSCA NSW are not currently vaccinated against leptospirosis.To reach the demand of need for this vaccine, RSPCA will be offering free C2i leptospirosis vaccinations when you book in for a C3, C4 or C5 vaccination. Standalone C2i vaccines will be $30. Please contact the RSPCA Sydney Veterinary Hosital to book in an appointment.