Leptospirosis is carried by wildlife such as rats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, squirrels, and deer and is found in places where they may urinate, including lakes, streams, puddles, or soil in your backyard. But this doesn’t mean that only dogs that swim in lakes or lick up puddles can be exposed! Any dog that regularly goes outside is potentially at risk of contracting this disease.
While the leptospirosis vaccine is not currently a required immunization for dogs, it is highly recommended for any dog that commonly goes outside, even just to go to the bathroom in the backyard. Small breed dogs and dogs that live in urban environments may at first seem to have a lower risk, but are in fact the most frequent patients in veterinary hospitals that are diagnosed with leptospirosis! It is important to understand that even if your dog is vaccinated, there is not a 100% guarantee that they will not contract leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs and other mammals that primarily affects the liver or kidneys. The bacteria (Leptospira) that cause leptospirosis, commonly called leptospires, thrive in water and they have a helical or spiral shape with a characteristic hook on one or both ends. There are many species and serovars (strains) of Leptospira, some of which cause disease in dogs. Leptospirosis in cats is very rare and is not associated with clinical disease.
Features of Lepto Vaccine For Dogs
Vaccination for leptospirosis is an option to consider if your dog is at high risk of contracting the disease. The American Animal Hospital Association considers Leptospirosis a “non-core” vaccine for dogs. That is, they do not recommend it unless there is a good chance your dog will be exposed to Leptospirosis. The efficacy of the vaccine is variable: short-lasting or limited. There have been reports of reactions to the vaccine that vary from minor to severe.
Vaccination does not always prevent infection, but it tends to make the disease much milder if infection occurs. There is the potential for vaccinated dogs that do become infected to become long-term carriers of Leptospirosis. Some long-term carriers have more frequent incidence of reproductive failure and stillbirths. As with all vaccinations, you should discuss the vaccine for Leptospirosis with your veterinarian. This decision will be based on you and your dog’s lifestyle, if your community is experiencing cases of Leptospirosis, and the other pros and cons your veterinarian has experienced with the vaccine.
The signs of this disease in animals can be difficult to identify and may mimic many other disease and sometimes pets do not have any symptoms. Below is a list of some of the clinical signs that have been reported in dogs.
- Abdominal pain
- Refusal to eat
- Severe weakness and depression
- Severe muscle pain
- Inability to have puppies
- Leptospirosis vaccination can be given with your dog’s annual vaccinations and check-up.
- The vaccine can also be given on its own
- Dogs starting their vaccination course are given two injections 2 – 4 weeks apart (maximum 6 weeks)
- If the booster is delayed more than 6 weeks the course will need to restart
- The 2 to 4 week booster vaccination is included in the initial vaccination cost
- The annual vaccinations are charged separately
- Please ensure that you have your records up to date with the Hospital as we will send reminders regarding vaccinations
- Vaccination reactions: these are rare but some dogs may exhibit some signs of lethargy or localised pain at the injection site. If you have any concerns please let us know.
- For more information contact one of our staff at your nearest Sydney Animal Hospital.
Prices of Lepto Vaccine For Dogs
$27.16 – $66.99