East coast Australia's wet first half of the year has prompted warnings from pet insurers about a bacterial disease dogs can catch from ponds and puddles.
Leptospirosis can cause severe health complications in humans and dogs, with early warning symptoms including fever, vomiting and diarrhoea or shivering.
Ponds or puddles contaminated with rodent urine carrying the disease may look tempting to dogs for a drink or a splash.
Pet Insurance Australia warns it's had some claims in the last year for up to $3000 to treat the disease in pets.
Vaccines are available and pet owners are urged to get on top of any rodent problems at home or be on the look-out in areas with high construction.
"We strongly advise dog owners, particularly those in rain-affected areas around Australia to seek this vaccination from their local veterinarian," the insurer's Nadia Crighton said.
"This is certainly becoming a big problem and pet owners do need to be vigilant in keeping their pets safe"
Pet owners were warned to keep their dogs on a lead, keep them out of ponds, puddles, flooded parks or muddy areas and remove leftover food scraps around the house.
When wet weather sparked last year's mice plague in rural NSW, 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 ways as their four-legged mates: in contaminated water and mud.
Australian Associated Press
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