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A dog swam at Sunny Height Day Care Centre (Source : SHDCC Facebook page).

Isolation order on Sunny Heights Day Care Centre lifted by AVA

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has announced that the isolation order imposed on Sunny Heights Day Care Centre (SHDCC) has been lifted with immediate effect from Thursday (15 September).

The media release states that there have been no new confirmed cases of leptospirosis in dogs associated with SHDCC since July 2016.

Sunny Heights Day Care Centre was earlier issued with an isolation order on 13 July 2016 due to the rising of numbers of dogs which suffered from a bacterial disease called leptospirosis.

Dogs were prohibited from entering or leaving the centre without AVA's authorization and environmental sample for leptospirosis testing have been taken and the centre was obliged to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises.

On 3 August 2016, the isolation order was partially lifted. This allowed SHDCC to accept new dogs to be kept in designated areas while ensuring that they will not come into contact with existing resident dogs.

SHDCC has since put in place biosecurity measures to prevent disease transmission, including instituting a rodent control programme, treated all resident and boarding dogs with antibiotics, requiring all incoming dogs to have up-to-date vaccinations, cleaned and disinfected the swimming pool, stepped up their daily sanitation and cleaning regime, trained staff monitored the dogs closely so that any clinical signs of disease or abnormalities can be promptly addressed.

The AVA has tested the dogs and the latest test results indicate that no trace of leptospire bacteria is detected in any of the resident and boarding dogs in SHDCC. With the results, AVA lifted the isolation order on SHDCC.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect both animals and humans. It can be transmitted to humans and animals through cuts and abrasions of the skin, or through mucous membranes with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. While many wild and domestic animals can be infected and act as a source of infection, rodents are considered the primary source of infection to human beings. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death if it is not being well treated.