This Serious Disease Is Increasing In Incidence Yet Is Still Relatively Rare In Most Regions Find Out What Causes Leptospirosis How Its Treated And Whether Or Not You Should Consider Vaccination
If youve heard of leptospirosis, you may know that the number of cases has been increasing recently across both the United States and Canada. As a result, dog caregivers are asking if they should have their canine companions vaccinated against the disease. Lets look at what causes leptospirosis, as well as its symptoms, treatment and prevention, and whether or not you should consider vaccination.
Why Is The Same Amount Of Vaccine Given To A Small Dog And A Large Dog
Vaccination doses are the same for all dogs, regardless of size. When these vaccines are tested, all dogs in the test group receive the same dose of vaccine and have been proven safe for dogs of all sizes at the recommended dosage. Smaller doses of vaccine may not adequately protect small pets. In addition, there is no evidence that smaller doses of vaccinations are associated with a decreased likelihood of vaccine reactions.
Individual Vaccine Prices For Dogs
Proheart 12 101-125 lbs
|*We also carry Praziquantel injectable dewormer which treats tapeworms. Pricing is based on the weight of your pet. Tapeworms are carried by fleas. When a dog or cat ingests a flea, the worm egg is hatched and results in a tapeworm which feeds in the animals intestine. Small segments are frequently passed in the stool and appear like a grain of rice.|
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Puppy Vaccination Cost In Australia
Puppy vaccinations cost for all three rounds of shots is between $170 $250. Adult dog vaccinations are approximately $90 annually. These prices are only an average, prices may vary depending on where you living and the vet clinic.
In Australia, vaccinations are reasonably priced, especially considering how much money they save you in veterinary bills incurred when your puppy contracts one of these diseases.
How Effective Is The Lepto Vaccine
The leptospirosis vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective at protecting dogs from disease. Bailey explains that the current vaccines on the market typically target the four most common Leptospira serovars. “This means that there can be breakthrough infections,” she adds, “especially if a dog is exposed to a serovar not covered by the vaccine.”
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Side Effects Of The Leptospirosis Vaccine In Dogs
There are a lot of warnings about the side effects of the vaccine, and all vets are aware of this issue. The side effects after giving this vaccine to your dog are:
- breathing problems
- swelling at the injection site
Not all dogs experience all of the side effects. The honking episode you describe may have been a side effect of a breathing problem or it may have been a sign of nausea and your dog felt like vomiting.
Dogs can be treated for anaphylactic vaccination reactions as soon as they occur but there is no specific treatment for a later reaction. If the dog is still making the “honking” noises, you can take her in to have her throat treated with an anti-inflammatory like prednisone , and if the throat is irritated and looks infected she may also be put on antibiotics again.
Even without knowing the specifics in your area, I can tell you that all dogs need certain vaccines. If you would like more info on what you need before visiting the vet in the future, look at whether dogs need vaccines and which are most important.
Vets Recommend Lepto Vaccination
And then theres the inevitable recommendation that you vaccinate your dog.
The words not 100% effective in the above quote are an understatement. Keep reading to find out why the leptospirosis vaccine is not only ineffective, but potentially quite dangerous for your dog.
So if youre alarmed by the thought of your dog catching lepto, and wondering whether you should give your dog the leptospirosis vaccine, you may first want to read some facts about the disease and the vaccine.
Leptospirosis vaccine reactions are quite frequent. Its important to weigh the risks of vaccinating vs not vaccinating very carefully.
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Leptospirosis: What Every Dog Owner Should Know
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms are many and varied, and can be mistaken for other health problems. If your dog shows any of the following signs, take him to the vet as soon as possible for a check-up, tests and diagnosis.
- Changes in the frequency or amount of urination
- Inflammation within the eyes
Prompt treatment is paramount. If caught too late, leptospirosis can result in kidney failure, with or without liver failure. Less commonly, dogs may develop severe lung disease and difficulty breathing, swollen limbs from the accumulation of edema, or excessive bleeding , nosebleeds and pin-point hemorrhages in the skin or mucus membranes .
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Vaccines Dont Cover All Strains Of Lepto
So either the vaccine doesnt work, or there are serovars causing the disease that the vaccine doesnt cover.
Given the high number of lepto serovars and the fact that there are so many strains of the disease that are not covered by the vaccines, the latter seems likely. In the US, serovar shift is the excuse given for the vaccine not working. Theories that the vaccines are responsible for serovar shift in the first place have never been confirmed.
If you even consider vaccinating your dog for Leptospirosis , its extremely important that you find out every year which serovar is responsible for Leptospirosis infections in your area, using your states public health records.
Make sure the vaccine is an exact DNA match for the pathogenic strain your dog will encounter, or else youll be subjecting your dog to a great deal of pointless risk. The presence of many more nonpathogenic Leptospira means that finding an exact match with the vaccine can be extremely challenging.
Leptospira vaccines for dogs are now available in two forms:
- The original two-way vaccines contained only the L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae serovars
- The more recent four-way vaccines also contain L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona.
It would be extremely expensive to monitor the environment for the presence of specific serovars. Because the disease is scarce in humans, no such program currently exists.
How Common Is Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is uncommon in areas where widespread vaccination of dogs is routine. Outbreaks of the disease are still seen from time to time however, because vaccines protect only against the four most prevalent serovars of Leptospira. Leptospirosis is more common in rural, wooded areas. Increased numbers of cases are seen in the South, Midwest, East Coast, and Appalachian regions.
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Is Lepto Vaccine Safe
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.
Why Do Some Dog Owners Leave It Out
Doubts over the lepto vaccines safety arose after inaccurate reports of post-L4 vaccination illness were widely publicised in the press. As a result, some owners either dont vaccinate their dogs against lepto at all, or opt to give the L2 version.
The VMD is the government agency responsible for monitoring the safety of all animal vaccines and medications used in the UK. Their data shows that the risk of dogs reacting adversely to either the L2 or L4 vaccine is actually rare. For every 10 000 doses of lepto vaccine given, the VMD receives reports of fewer than two dogs reacting to the L2 vaccine and fewer than seven reacting to the L4 vaccine.
Its worth pointing out that any vaccine can cause a range of reactions, the majority of which are non-serious. The VMDs data doesnt distinguish between serious and non-serious reactions.
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How Are Dogs Infected
Leptospira bacteria are carried mainly by rats and other rodents, but can be carried by almost any mammal, including people. Infected or recovered carrier dogs may act as a source of the infection.
“Ingestion of infected urine or rodent-contaminated garbage is the most important means of transmission…”
Ingestion of infected urine or rodent-contaminated garbage is the most important means of transmission, but some forms of the bacteria can penetrate damaged or thin skin. For instance, when dogs swim in contaminated water, they may become infected through their skin. The incubation period is usually four to twelve days.
Estimated Uptake Of Leptospirosis Vaccination In Dogs Under Veterinary Care At Vetcompass Primary Care Practices
Within the study population, 49.0% dogs had a record of receiving at least one leptospirosis vaccine during 2016. Of the dogs with a recorded leptospirosis vaccination, 77.8% of EPRs specifically reported the level of serovar coverage provided by the vaccine administered. The estimated proportional uptake of a bivalent vaccine was 11.0% . whilst the uptake of a tetravalent vaccine was 27.1% .
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What Are The Signs Of Leptospirosis
Many Leptospira infections go undetected, but other cases can be life-threatening. Certain strains of Leptospira are more likely to be associated with disease than other strains.
There are three main forms of the disease:
1. Hemorrhagic . In hemorrhagic disease there is high fever with lethargy and loss of appetite. Multiple small hemorrhages occur in the mouth and on the whites of the eyes. Bloody diarrhea and vomiting may occur. This form is often fatal.
2. Icteric or jaundice . The icteric or jaundice form begins like the hemorrhagic form and many of the clinical signs are the same. An additional clinical sign is the presence of a yellow color in the mouth and whites of the eyes. In severe cases, the skin will turn yellow.
3. Renal . The renal form causes kidney failure. These dogs are very lethargic, anorectic , and may vomit. Their breath may have an offensive odor, and ulcers often develop on the tongue. Other signs include diarrhea, excessive drinking , and excessively frequent urination . There may be red staining of the urine . The dog may be reluctant to move and show abdominal discomfort. Fever is variable and temperature may actually be below normal in the more advanced stage. Dogs that survive the acute renal form may be left with chronic kidney disease.
The Vaccine Is Limited
The lepto vaccine may not cover the strain of lepto your dog encounters.
There are 20 different species of Leptospira bacteria and more than 200 different serovars. The original vaccines contained only the L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae serovars. The current vaccines now contain L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona. The latter two strains are now much more common. Two additional serovars that appear to cause infection, L. bratislava and L. automalis, are not included in the vaccines currently available.
So if you do decide to vaccinate your dog, its a very good idea to find out which strains of lepto are in your area so that you dont give your dog a risky vaccination that wont even protect him.
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Factors Associated With Leptospirosis Vaccine Administration
Table 1 Descriptive statistics of the study population and variables examined in univariable mixed effect model analysisFig. 2
Results of mixed effects model examining significant variables associated with leptospirosis vaccination administration for dogs under primary veterinary care in 2016. The final model included neutering status, insurance status, top 20 breeds, owner IMD rank, biological age and corporate group. Interaction terms between age and neutering and age and insurance are shown. Missing data was retained and is labelled missing here
In the second model , Gundog and Pastoral breed groups had increased odds of receiving a vaccination. As dog bodyweight increased odds of receiving a leptospirosis vaccine decreased. Dogs that weighed over 40kg had nearly half the odds of receiving a leptospirosis vaccine when compared to dogs weighing between 0 and 10kg .
For the final multivariable mixed effect models, the ICC was 0.09. This indicated that there was limited clustering of vaccine use at the individual clinic level, even when fixed effects were incorporated.
No Human Lepto Vaccine
Theres no lepto vaccine licensed for humans in the US. Some of the reasons for this are:
- Unacceptable side effects
- Incomplete and short lived protection
- Increased risk of auto-immune disease
- Even if the vaccination provides protection, it wont prevent leptospiuria so the disease can still be spread
So the lepto vaccine isnt safe for humans, but its OK to give it to our dogs?
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You Must Vaccinate For Lepto At Least Yearly
Unlike viral vaccines which likely last for the life of the animal, bacterial vaccines such as lepto only last for a year at most. This means that many vets recommend vaccinating every six months to protect your dog. Leading veterinary immunologist Ronald D Schultz PhD has said that you may need to give a lepto vaccine as often as four times a year. As youll see below, the lepto vaccine involves a high level of risk for your dog.
What Is The Vaccine Cost
Our Leptospirosis vaccine cost is $75 for BOTH the initial vaccine and the booster vaccine 2 weeks later . If given with your dogs other routine vaccinations at the time of their vet check, it is $50 extra for both the initial vaccine and the booster shot.
Please contact us on 49556670 if you have any questions regarding Leptospirosis, or book your dog in below. It is a serious disease, but luckily preventable.
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Read This Before You Vaccinate For Lepto
It seems that every year or so, somewhere in the country there are dire warnings about an outbreak of leptospirosis. This year its Chicagos turn, with TV news stations warning that your dog could die just from sniffing. Sniffing rat urine, they mean.
The warnings about lepto are especially dire because its a zoonotic disease, meaning it can infect humans too.
There are press releases from big veterinary emergency clinics too.
What Can I Vaccinate My Dog Against
Infectious Canine Hepatitis is a viral disease which affects the liver, kidneys, eyes and lungs of a dog. It is spread by contact with saliva, urine, faeces, blood or nasal discharge of infected dogs. The urine of an infected dog can be infectious for up to a year, and the virus can survive in the environment for many months.
Signs can vary from slight fever to sudden death. Other signs include loss of appetite, pale gums, conjunctivitis, coughing, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. The disease can develop very quickly and sadly there is no specific treatment however vets will try and alleviate the signs and dogs can sometimes survive with intensive supportive treatment.
Leptospirosis, often referred to as lepto, is caused by a bacteria not a virus. Dogs can become infected if they come into contact with infected urine, or by contaminated water, so if your dog likes to swim or is partial to drink from stagnant water or canals they can be at risk, especially in areas with high numbers of rats. There are many different strains of leptospirosis and humans can get it as well . It can be fatal in both dogs and humans.
The signs often start 4 to 12 days after exposure to the bacteria. Look out for fever, muscle pain, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, jaundice and lethargy. Leptospirosis primarily affects the kidneys and liver so more serious cases will get kidney and liver failure.
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Leptospirosis Vaccine For Dogs In Warwickshire
Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria. There are various strains of lepto and this disease is zoonotic .
The human form of lepto is known as Weils disease, it can be fatal for both dogs and people. Leptospirosis is spread by infected dogs, mice, rats and cows. Dogs usually become infected by drinking, swimming, or walking through water that is contaminated with urine from an infected animal.
Which Vaccines Do Adult Dogs Need
Adult dogs need their core vaccines in addition to any noncore vaccines decided upon between you and your veterinarian. A dog vaccination schedule for an adult dog may look like this:
No 3-year noncore vaccines are available at this time.
Ultimately, your veterinarian will determine how long a vaccine will work for your pet.
If they are overdue or it is their first time getting a vaccine, your vet may recommend a booster vaccine or an annual schedule in order to assure appropriate protection for your pet.
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Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavily And Struggling To Bark After The Lepto Vaccine
“My dog had her yearly check and was fine, but the vet gave my dog the lepto vaccine and 6 days later she could not bark and was lethargic. They put her on antibiotics and prednisone but two months later she is still breathing heavily and her bark is hoarse.
The groomer told us that the vaccine caused heart failure. When I took her in 10 days ago for a booster, she got another lepto shot even though I asked them not to give it 6 days later she had a “honking” episode and another today.
Why is there no information on this? What can I give them to help? THANK YOU.”L.J.