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Should I vaccinate my dog for Leptospirosis?
What is Leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is an infectious zoonotic disease that can be contracted not only by some domestic animals, but also by humans. The disease is caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Leptospira interrogans that can be found in reservoirs such as ponds, lakes, streams, and soil. The bacteria is passed through the urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) of infected animals. Wildlife populations such as deer, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, and rodents can serve as living reservoirs for the disease. Dogs can become infected if exposed to the bacteria (e.g. swimming in or drinking from a contaminated water source). Infection with the organism can potentially lead to severe consequences such as kidney failure, liver failure, or even death. Vaccination for some of the more common disease-causing subtypes (serovars) of L. interrogans is available for dogs.
What does Lawndale recommend? At Lawndale, we believe in an individualized patient approach when deciding on which vaccine(s) are best for your pet. We evaluate factors such as disease risk, age, overall health status, other medical conditions/ medications, history of vaccine tolerance, and specific vaccine safety profile (to name a few) before recommending any vaccine to your pet. A dog with a lifestyle that carries a higher risk of exposure to Leptospirosis (e.g. regularly swims in small ponds, potential for exposure to wildlife populations) may truly benefit from the vaccine
Contact us for additional information so that we can help you decide if this vaccine is right for your individual dog.
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS