View Full Version : I'm sorry to bring this up again, but about leptro vaccine..

11th January 2007, 01:38 AM
I have talked to 2 vets I am considering using, my old vet (who I dont want to use but threw the question out there just to see) and my daughters rabbit vet that also has a few cavalier clients. I asked all if this vaccine is known to affect smaller breeds more than larger - no 3/4, my daughters rabbit vet agreed it did. I then asked if they highly recommended it - 4/4 including the rabbit vet that said smaller breeds do show a tendancy to react more but the risk out weight it as they have had several cases this yr. I asked the other 3 if they had leptro this yr, yes in all. Each vet has 2-4 cases each yr, 2 had dogs die from it, one had a 5yr old owners dog get dangerously ill from it.

ARGGG between the websites warning over high incidence in puppies under 10 lbs have problems and my area having cases of it I am still on a fence!

One article said some breeders of smaller dogs opt to have the vaccine after 16 wks then 3 wks later for second. Any one know of breeders who recommend this? Is this a compromise for me to consider considering leptro is a slight problem here?

I hate making choices regarding health, I've had to do it too often regarding my own in the last yr so I'm overloaded in this department! :?

11th January 2007, 01:42 AM
Kody -

Why not wait until Kody is 10lbs and then get the lepto? You'll be getting her in the middle of winter so she will be indoors most of the time, right? :)

11th January 2007, 02:19 AM
You hit it on the head. since I am on a fence I just read today the suggestion of waiting till they are 16 wks or 10lbs (which ever comes later). I keep leaning towards not doing it, but since all of them say they had cases last yr I am worrying our area is increasing in problems.

But mostly I am bothered none of them will admit that vaccine is a problem for smaller breeds with puppies under 10lbs. I'm fussing because I want a vet who will at least say, yes smaller dogs have a higher incidence and here is what I advise. But to constantly be told oh nonsence is really ticking me off :x Probably because Kody is coming home in 15 days :jump: and I feel unsettled because I cant find a vet that I feel comfortable with their answers yet.

Oh and I heard today from my breeder Kody is running about chewing walls and baseboards now :rotfl: I wonder if i will find that so cute in 2 mths?

11th January 2007, 11:34 AM
If you don;t have the dog out in an area where it will be exposed, then there's no rush to do this vaccine. Most 16 week old puppies are not even being walked outside yet.

Many opt not to do it and there is a higher incidence of reaction in some small breeds, and this is one of the vaccines with a higher level or reaction generally, due to the nature of the vaccine, but the reaction incidence IS extremely low. More dogs get and die from lepto than react seriously to the vaccine, I would wager. Every year you hear of a couple of dogs dying from lepto in Ireland.

Whether you get it depends on your area and again your level of risk. But see Roxanne's post about the chihs she knows that nearly died from lepto and were very ill, at great cost, for a long time after getting it.

11th January 2007, 04:56 PM
I spoke to my new vet. She told me last year she treated two dogs in my area for lepto. She tested them to see which strain they had, and neither strain was one covered by the current vaccine they use (which covers three different strains). She also said that her vaccine rep attempted to get her to switch to a newer vac that covers five strains... she checked and neither strain she treated was covered by the newer vac. So, she didn't think there was reason enough to switch.

She told me there are hundreds of strains of lepto! She said the biggest culprit for infection was drinking contaminated water... i.e. dirty puddles that deer or other animals have wee'ed in.

I don't think I'm going to do any lepto vacc at all. I'll keep asking her about case load for lepto, though, to be sure it doesn't become rampant in my area.

Joanne M
12th January 2007, 09:36 AM
What is leptro/lepto?

12th January 2007, 03:37 PM
Sorry, I have a bad habit of making up my own short forms for words I cant remember to spell - Leptospirosis

12th January 2007, 04:19 PM
This is one vaccine where it pays to take the time to investigate whether it is recommended by vets and whether there are enough cases in the area, or not. The vaccine as far as a I understand is desogned to prevent the most common and virulent strains of this -- similar to flu vaccines which can only cover a narrow range of virus but is recoommended if people are in risk groups.

I wouldn't make a decison not to give it unlesss you know for sure what the case load is for an area.

Lepto is most commonly spread by water or grasses that grow along watery areas. Rat urine is a key carrier and there are water rats everywhere around here. My dogs swim in ponds and canals and it is one of their great summer pleasures. They also enjoy walks along areas where there is water, ponds, streams, creeks, canals. So doing lepto is a must for me. It may not be for others.

12th January 2007, 04:30 PM
This gives a good overview of the issues:


But you really need to read the entire piece, not draw conclusions based on only reading the start or the end. Also this is a bit outdated now -- nothing more recent than 2000 in the references.



And recommendations from UCDavis vet school (promarily for dogs in that region of Califonria, but good general info from one of the top research vet schools):

Canine Leptospira Vaccines

Multiple leptospiral serovars are capable of causing disease in dogs, and minimal cross-protection is induced by each serovar. Currently available vaccines do not contain all serovars, efficacies against infection with the targeted serovar are between 50 and 75%, and duration of immunity is probably about 1 year. However, leptospirosis is not uncommon in Northern Californian dogs with exposure histories involving livestock and areas frequented by wild mammals, the disease can be fatal or have high morbidity, and also has zoonotic potential. Therefore, we suggest annual vaccination of dogs living in/visiting rural areas or areas frequented by wildlife with vaccines containing all four leptospiral serovars (grippotyphosa, pomona, canicola and icterohemorrhagiae), ideally before the rainy season, when disease incidence peaks. The initial vaccination should be followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later, and the first vaccine be given no earlier than 12 weeks of age. In general, leptospiral vaccines have been associated with more severe postvaccinal reactions (acute anaphylaxis) than other vaccines. Whether the recent introduction of vaccines with reduced amounts of foreign protein has reduced this problem is still unclear. Vaccination of dogs in suburban areas with minimal exposure to farm animals or forested areas is not recommended. Anecdotally, the incidence of reactions has been greatest in puppies (< 12 weeks of age, and especially < 9 weeks of age) and small-breed dogs. A careful risk-benefit analysis is recommended before considering vaccination of small breed dogs at risk of exposure to leptospires.

from: http://www.vmth.ucdavis.edu/vmth/clientinfo/info/genmed/vaccinproto.html

Another perspective:


Remember lepto can be spread to humans and is potentially fatal to humans as well. :thmbsup:

Joanne M
12th January 2007, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the links and the information.

12th January 2007, 07:33 PM
Fantastic information! It really helped to look at it from all sides so people can make the best choice for their situation. Thanks!