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Halstead: Dog’s death prompts vet to issue warning

12:17 07 February 2013

Vet Emily Nightingale with her dogs Teddy Bear the Border terrier and Pimm the collie

Vet Emily Nightingale with her dogs Teddy Bear the Border terrier and Pimm the collie

A HIGHLY contagious disease which can prove fatal for dogs has been found in Halstead.

The outbreak has prompted the town’s Forge Veterinary Centre to issue a warning to all dog owners in the area to take precautions to protect their pet.

A fatal case of canine Leptospirosis – also known as Weil’s disease – was confirmed last week after an eight-year-old female black Labrador became unwell.

Despite aggressive and intensive treatment, the dog went on to develop multiple organ failure as a result of the infection and had to be put to sleep.

Staff at the Forge Veterinary Centre said since the sad loss of the Labrador, they are now starting to see more dogs from the Halstead area with suspicious symptoms.

Vet Emily Nightingale said: “The tragic death of this beloved dog has meant we are being extra vigilant as the early intervention and treatment in these cases makes the difference between life and death.

“We also cannot stress the importance of yearly vaccination enough as this is a simple and effective way of reducing the risk of infection.

“Sadly, it is cases like these that serve as a reminder to vets and owners alike of the importance of annually vaccinating your dog.”

The owners of the Labrador, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We are devastated at losing her. If we had known the consequences of not having her vaccinated we would have made sure we had it done every year.

“Her death is a warning sign to other owners who might have forgotten to keep up to date with their pet’s jabs.

“If we had known what we do now, she would still be with us.”

Weil’s disease is highly contagious to both humans and animals. Infection follows exposure to contaminated water, urine from an infected animal or bite wounds, and ingestion of tissues from infected animals.

Affected animals can show many symptoms including fever, lethargy, muscle weakness, jaundice and vomiting which rapidly become fatal.

A yearly vaccination against the common forms of Weil’s disease is available from veterinary surgeries.

Any dog owners who suspect their pet is unwell should get in touch with their vet as soon as possible.

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