AVA partially lifts isolation order on daycare centre for dogs

Dogs under quarantine at Sunny Heights Day Care Centre on July 20. The centre will be allowed to accept new dogs from Aug 3.
Dogs under quarantine at Sunny Heights Day Care Centre on July 20. The centre will be allowed to accept new dogs from Aug 3.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The isolation order imposed on a daycare centre for dogs, that came after an increase in the number of suspected leptospirosis cases linked to the centre, has been partially lifted.

In a release on Wednesday (Aug 3), the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said Sunny Heights Day Care Centre will be allowed to accept new dogs from Wednesday, while ensuring that these dogs do not come in contact with the dogs already at the centre.

The isolation order, issued on July 13, prohibited any dog from entering or leaving Sunny Heights' premises without AVA's authorisation.

Since then, the authority has worked with Sunny Heights to ensure that dogs already on the premises are isolated in a designated area. Dedicated equipment for these dogs will also be provided.

Sunny Heights has "completed a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises, including its swimming pool", the AVA said, adding that the centre will improve its pest control and sanitation programme and be cleaned and disinfected daily.

 
 
 

Environmental samples have tested negative for pathogenic species of leptospires, it added.

"AVA will continue to monitor the situation at SHDCC before deciding on a complete lifting of the isolation order," it said.

The authority received 27 notifications of suspected leptospirosis cases in dogs between Jan 1 and Aug 1 this year, of which 15 are associated with Sunny Heights. Fifteen dogs have died or had to be euthanised, six of which had visited the centre.

There were just two cases last year and none in 2014.

Infected dogs may not show any symptoms of the infection, which include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and jaundice.

Leptospirosis is a potentially deadly bacterial infection that can affect both animals and humans.

Fourteen human cases were reported as of July 21 this year, including one involving a dog that had stayed at Sunny Heights. About 20 to 30 human cases of leptospirosis a year were reported between 2012 and last year.

It can be transmitted through cuts and abrasions on the skin, or through water contaminated with the urine of infected animals.