Leptospirosis 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.

Description

Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria that can affect both animals and humans. In fact, it is currently the most common zoonotic disease in the world, that can be transmitted from animals to people. 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.

Signs of leptospirosis

The signs of leptospirosis in dogs vary. Some infected dogs do not show any signs of illness, some have a mild and transient illness and recover spontaneously, while others develop severe illness and death.

Signs of leptospirosis may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes), or painful inflammation within the eyes. The disease can cause kidney failure with or without liver failure. Dogs may occasionally develop severe lung disease and have difficulty breathing. Leptospirosis can cause bleeding disorders, which can lead to blood-tinged vomit, urine, stool or saliva; nosebleeds; and pinpoint red spots (which may be visible on the gums and other mucous membranes or on light-colored skin). Affected dogs can also develop swollen legs (from fluid accumulation) or accumulate excess fluid in their chest or abdomen.

Features of Leptospirosis Vaccine For Dogs

In the 1960s the first leptospirosis vaccines began to be administered to dogs in the United States and Europe. Since then, vaccination in dogs has become routine at many veterinary clinics across the U.S., however, not all clinics routinely perform or offer this vaccine. This is likely due to the vaccine’s non-core status as deemed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. 

Given leptospirosis’ widespread prevalence and potential to cause death in dogs, many veterinarians disagree with the vaccine’s status as non-core and it may be considered a core vaccine depending on the area in which you live. For example, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s hospital considers the lepto vaccine a core vaccine for dogs residing in the state of California The lepto vaccine is available from most general practice veterinary clinics throughout the United States. The vaccine is not required by law anywhere in the U.S. 

Dosage and administration

  • Subcutaneous injection
  • Two 1 mL doses given 2-4 weeks apart
  • Historically, annual revaccination has been recommended for this product. The need for this booster has not been established. Contact your veterinarian or manufacturer for more information on revaccination frequency
  • Available in a 25 x 1 mL dose

Prices of Leptospirosis Vaccine For Dogs

$12.00-$30.00

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!