An all day inoculation clinc is currently underway at the Sooke Veterinary Hospital. (file photo)

An all day inoculation clinc is currently underway at the Sooke Veterinary Hospital. (file photo)

Veterinarian opens emergency clinic to deal with bacteria that kills dogs

Leptospirosis causing fears among dog owners

The Sooke Veterinary Hospital is reacting to the death of a dog from leptospirosis by providing an all-day vaccination clinic at its 6520 Sooke Rd. facility today.

The dog died Tuesday after a week-long battle for its life.

The case in Sooke had been the latest in a string of cases that had popped up around the Greater Victoria region, raising concerns the illness may spread further.

RELATED: Veterinarian warns dog owners of leptospirosis in Greater Victoria

Dr. Deborah Lambert of the Sooke Veterinary Hospital decided yesterday, in light of the overwhelming public demand for inoculations for the disease, she would give up her day off to give dogs the vaccination.

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that can be life-threatening. It spreads through the urine of infected animals and, although it’s rare, it can be transmitted to humans, putting people at risk for kidney damage and liver failure. The bacteria largely survives in stagnant water which has been contaminated with an infected animal’s urine.

As the disease is relatively rare, it has not been included in the regular panel of inoculations generally given to dogs.

“The vaccine can cause some soreness as well, so we hadn’t as a rule, included it in the regular vaccinations,” Lambert said.

“Still, this is a very serious illness and, now that we have some cases here, people have to realize that the vaccination is far better than the disease.”

At the Otter Point Veterinary Hospital, spokesperson Katie Reynolds reported that the clinic has been overwhelmed by requests for vaccinations as well.

“Lots of people are calling and we’ve reduced the price of the vaccinations and boosters to make the vaccine more accessible,” she said.

“We’re pretty much booked up right now and into next week, but we urge people who are wanting the vaccine to give us a call and make arrangments to get the examination and shot.”

Anyone wanting to protect their dog from the disease should contact their veterinarian for further information.

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