Dog centre isolated over bacterial-infection spike
A DAY care centre for dogs has been issued an isolation order following a rise in the number of suspected bacterial infection cases in dogs.
The animals are believed to be afflicted with leptospirosis, a disease that can affect both animals and humans.
There has been more suspected leptospirosis cases in dogs being reported by veterinarians since late last year, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) in a joint press release.
This upward trend was observed after no animal cases were reported in 2014, followed by two notifications received by AVA between September and December last year, and 18 notifications to date this year.
Between June 27 and July 14, AVA received 12 notifications associated with Sunny Heights Day Care Centre which is located along Turf Club Road.
AVA has issued an isolation order to the day care centre prohibiting any dog from entering or leaving the premises without the regulator's authorisation.
In addition, the day care centre is required to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises.
The disease in question can be transmitted to humans and animals through cuts and abrasions of the skin.
The bacteria can also pass through one's mucous membranes, such as the skin that lines the mouth, such as when one comes into contact with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals.
On July 12, NEA conducted an inspection at Sunny Heights and its vicinity, including a licensed pet cafe.
It did not detect any signs of rat activity.
As for human cases, MOH received about 20 to 30 reports of leptospirosis each year between 2012 and last year.
This year, 14 cases have so far been reported to MOH as of July 13.
They included a person whose family dog had previously attended the Sunny Heights centre.
Investigations are ongoing.
Protect your dogs
To guard against leptospirosis infection, AVA advises dog owners to keep their pets up
to date with vaccinations.
The vaccine does not provide 100 per cent
protection but can reduce
the chance of the dog being infected, and help prevent the shedding of bacteria
in the dog's urine.
Owners are also advised
to reduce their dogs' exposure to water or soil that may be contaminated, such as areas that are home to small mammals such as bats,
rats and other rodents,
which are all potential
carriers of the illness.