Dundee dog owners urged to vaccinate pets after floods

Dog owners in Tayside are being urged to get their pets vaccinated against the disease. Image: Steven Brown

Dog owners in Tayside are being urged to get their pets vaccinated against the disease. Image: Steven Brown

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Dog owners in flood-hit Tayside are being encouraged to vaccinate their pets against the potentially deadly disease Leptospirosis.

The highly contagious infection causes them to vomit, can cause organ failure and can be passed onto humans.

Cases of Leptospirosis are higher in areas which have found themselves underwater in recent months.

Severe cases of the bacterial infection are known as Weil’s disease. Dogs can be protected from the bacteria with an annual vaccination.

The PDSA issued the caution after a dog in Aberdeen contracted the disease and could not be saved.

Sandra Gonzales, a vet at Dundee PDSA Pet Hospital, said: “It’s incredibly sad when we see a pet suffering from something that could easily have been prevented with a quick vaccination or booster.

“Given the extensive flooding caused by Storm Frank and heavy rainfall across the Tayside area in recent months, I’d advise all owners to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date.

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“Leptospirosis usually requires an annual booster, but check with your vet if you’re not sure.”

A spokeswoman for the charity added: “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.”

Alyth was submerged last July, leading to many residents near the square being forced out of their homes.

In November and December the region was battered by a succession of storms, which led to the flood gates in Perth city centre being repeatedly closed and the main train line to the Highlands hanging in mid-air as its structure was washed away.

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