Dog owners hit with warning over harmful disease found in ponds and puddles

Dog owners are being urged to keep their pets away from ponds and puddles as toxins in the water can cause them severe health complications. Animal experts have issued a warning over leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that spreads through the bloodstream and commonly comes from drinking water containing rodent urine.

Leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease, can cause issues in both dogs and humans – such as red eyes, aching muscles and joints, a headache, a high temperature, feeling or being sick and a loss of appetite. An RSPCA Knowledge Base statement reads: “Leptospirosis can cause kidney failure and liver failure, and occasionally severe lung disease and bleeding disorders.

“If you have any concerns about your pet please contact your vet as soon as possible. Leptospirosis can be treated, usually with antibiotics and supportive care.

“The chance of recovery depends on how severely the dog is affected, and how quickly they receive veterinary treatment.

In 2019, a German shepherd cross Belgian Shepherd became ill after drinking from a pond in Pentre Mawr Park, in Abergele, Wales.

Owner Emily Lockwood began to worry when her dog, Luna, started being violently sick the next morning – and took her to the vet for a check-up.

“She was sent home after being given an injection to stop her being sick, and was also given antibiotics but she couldn’t take them as everything was coming back up,” said Emily.

“My mum raised the alarms on Thursday to take her back to the vets as she didn’t look well, my boyfriend Dan then took her to the vets while I was coming back from work.”

Luna, who by now was very dehydrated, was put on an IV drip and tests revealed her kidney’s were not functioning properly.

She added: “On Friday afternoon we got a call from the vets saying she was deteriorating rapidly and needed to be taken to an animal hospital on the Wirral.

“They very quickly detected there was bacteria in her kidneys that had travelled to her lungs and liver, they thought it came from the pond water she had drunk on the Tuesday and that it was caused by the algae in the pond.”

At 1am on Saturday morning, Emily received a harrowing call from the animal hospital, saying they were performing CPR on Luna, but wanted her permission for them to stop, as they didn’t believe it was in the dog’s best interests for them to continue, reports North Wales Live.

“Luna had a weak immune system but sadly passed away due to the toxins carried in the water.

“It resulted in acute kidney failure which turned out to be incurable.

“I think there should be signs around the ponds warning dog owners of the dangers in letting their pets swim and drink from the water.

“I’ve been told this bacteria can be found in lakes and puddles, not just ponds.”

She added: “It would help prevent any further incidents which could result in a loss for another family.

“Luna may have had a weak immune system but she was a very happy and energetic dog, and we all miss her very much.”