Wet weather prompts warning for pets

Australia’s east coast wet first half prompted warnings from pet insurers of a bacterial disease dogs can pick up from ponds and puddles.

Leptospirosis can cause serious health complications in humans and dogs, with early warning symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and diarrhea or chills.

Ponds or puddles contaminated with the urine of disease-carrying rodents may seem tempting for dogs to drink or splash.

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Pet Insurance Australia warns it has had claims over the past year for up to $3,000 to treat illness in pets.

Vaccinations are available and pet owners are urged to control any rodent problems in the home or be on the lookout in high construction areas.

“We urge dog owners, especially those in rain-affected areas around Australia, to seek this vaccination from their local veterinarian,” said Nadia Crighton of the insurer.

“It is definitely becoming a big problem and pet owners need to be vigilant to keep their pets safe”

Pet owners have been warned to leash their dogs, keep them out of ponds, puddles, flooded parks or muddy areas, and remove leftover food from around the house.

When wet weather triggered mouse plague last year in rural New South Wales, health services saw a spike in leptospirosis cases in humans.

The disease can lead to kidney failure and meningitis in humans, and people can catch it the same way their four-legged friends do: through contaminated water and mud.