Plague of mice: why you should vaccinate your dog


Veterinarians are urging dog owners to get their pets vaccinated against the deadly rodent-spread disease.

With mouse plague raging in New South Wales and Queensland, there is an increased risk of pets catching leptospirosis, a potentially fatal disease spread primarily by rats and mice.

The QLD and NSW governments have issued warnings urging Australians to take action to protect themselves against this zoonotic infection – which means it can also spread to humans – which is associated with exposure to water, soil or mud contaminated with urine from infected animals.

It is a disease of particular concern to dog owners because it can be life threatening. It can cause acute kidney failure and requires immediate hospitalization if left untreated.

Leptospirosis cases discovered in Sydney and Wollongong

In February of this year, three cases were identified in Waterloo, Figtree near Wollongong and Horsley Park in the Greater West region of Sydney. Unfortunately, the dogs were not vaccinated on time; as a result, two were euthanized due to kidney failure and one died of complications.

Last week, another dog from Elanora Heights in the northern beaches was diagnosed with the disease and had to be shot due to kidney failure.

Although leptospirosis vaccination is not currently a mandatory vaccination for dogs, many veterinary clinics, including Greencross Vets and University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney, recommend receiving it. It is especially important that all dogs that have been in contact with puddles, bodies of water and rivers get vaccinated.

Why you should vaccinate your dog

How pet insurance can help you

Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to get your dog vaccinated if you don’t purchase pet insurance. At the time of writing, Sydney Animal Hospitals charge $ 198 for the two vaccinations required for the vaccination, which are included as part of a full consultation. RSPCA NSW charges pet owners $ 95 to prevent the spread of contagious bacterial infection.

However, pet owners don’t need to be so expensive. Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, says “pet insurance can cover your furry friend for leptospirosis vaccination.”

“It’s included in routine care, which you’ll need to add to most policies, although some providers include it automatically, like Pet Insurance Australia,” Blackburn added.

Finder looked at 25 pet insurance policies and found 2 that automatically accompany routine care. Several other providers, including Medibank, Vets Choice, and Coles, can also cover you if you pay a little extra per month.

In most cases, you can book and have your dog vaccinated immediately. “There are usually no waiting periods, so you can get your pet vaccinated the same day you purchase a policy,” Blackburn said.

These pet insurance policies can help pay for the leptospirosis vaccine.

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Woolworths Full Coverage

Yes $ 100 Annual benefit of $ 50 on vaccinations or health checks

Plus $ 50 for one of the following treatments:

  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Prescription diets
  • Preventive against heartworm
  • Obedience training in a recognized establishment
  • Removal of dew claws
  • Dental disease treatment
  • Cremation or burial
  • Council registration fees
  • Brushing teeth
  • Behavior therapy
  • Alternative therapy
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Animal insurance Australia

PIA Major Medical Coverage

Yes $ 145 Annual benefit of $ 50 for one of the following:
  • Desexing
  • Microchipping
  • Heartworm
  • Behavior therapy
  • Brushing teeth
  • Council registration fees
  • Alternative therapies
  • Prescription diets
  • Removal of dew claws
  • Cremation or burial
  • Dog training in a recognized training center

Annual benefits for all of the following:

  • Vaccinations or health check – $ 30
  • Heartworm test or blood test – $ 10
  • FeLV / FIV test or urinalysis – $ 10
  • Flea / Tick / Worm Control – $ 45
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Adult dogs generally need regular vaccinations to maintain their immunity to disease, so with routine care coverage you can save money each year.

“As it’s currently recommended by vets, it can be much cheaper to get it as part of your routine care visit, with the annual boosters you’re supposed to get,” Blackburn added.

If you live in New South Wales or Queensland, now is the time to consider protecting your pet against leptospirosis with a pet insurance policy that includes routine care.

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