A FATAL disease that affects dogs has spread through Hay-on-Wye – with a local veterinary surgery noting more cases in the last three months than have been seen over the last three years.

Leptospirosis – carried by both rats and in the water supply – can strike down dogs within hours of being contracted, attacking the animal’s liver and kidneys before eventually leading to total organ failure.

The disease has already killed one dog and left two in life threatening condition, both requiring intensive care and prolonged treatment at significant cost to their owners.

Now Stephanie Massey, of Hay Veterinary Group, is looking to raise awareness of the dangers of leptospirosis, and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

She said: “We could prevent too many more cases of this devastating, expensive and potentially fatal disease.

“Hay is at risk because of the number of different water supplies, and the rats from local farms.

“There are many myths in circulation about the necessity of annual vaccination for dogs – but this is one disease that we are certain does require boosters every year.”