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Vet warns of dog disease outbreak

A Melksham vet is warning owners to be on their guard after a spate of cases of a serious bacterial infection which can be fatal to dogs.  

Practices in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire have treated a number of dogs for the disease, called Leptospirosis.  Some of them sadly could not be saved.  The practice is urging owners to keep their dogs away from stagnant water which can harbour the disease and to be vigilant for symptoms including lethargy, increased thirst, a high temperature and vomiting.

Trevor Warner, principal vet at The Beeches Veterinary Centre explains,  “Many owners are unaware of it but Leptospirosis is a dangerous disease which is spread by rats and can be caught by dogs drinking from muddy or stagnant pools.

“Because it has been so wet in recent months, there is a great deal of standing water in many of the country areas where local owners exercise their dogs and this could be leading to the increased incidence of the disease in our area.  It also appears that there may be a new strain of the disease.

“The best way to protect their dog is for owners to ensure it is vaccinated against the disease so we advise all owners in the area to contact their vet to check whether their pet’s vaccinations are up to date.  Even those dogs up to date with their vaccines may benefit from having further injections against the new strain.

“In the meantime, we advise them to be careful where they exercise their animals and to contact their vet immediately if they have any concerns about their health.”

The Beeches Veterinary Centre is based at 4 Semington Road, Melksham, and can be contacted on 01225 793335.