Dog owners in Sackville are being advised to keep their pets away from the Sackville Waterfowl Park and Mount Allison University’s swan pond after a local dog became sick from a harmful bacteria.
“Earlier this month we were advised of a local dog testing positive for leptospirosis,” said Jamie Burke, senior manager of corporate projects for the town.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected wild animals, such as raccoons, rodents, skunks and feral cats. Often pets contract the disease by playing in or drinking standing water that has been infected.
Burke said warning signs have since been installed up at the entry ways to the waterfowl park and at the swan pond as a precautionary measure.
“The dog’s owner regularly walked the pet at the waterfowl park and the swan pond, and therefore we had several discussions with our colleagues at Mount Allison on how best to approach the issue,” he said. “Given that it was next to impossible to pinpoint the exact location of the bacteria, we decided to install widespread precautionary signage at the two waterbodies where the dog had frequented.
Burke said the bacteria should die out once temperatures drop below zero.
While some dogs may show little or no symptoms when contracting leptospirosis, in severe cases it can cause their kidneys or liver to shut down.