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Old 02-27-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default Question regarding the Lepto vaccine.

All of the dog's vaccines were updated summer of last year (as their vaccine history was shoddy), save for Chloe, who I did a titer on. I don't plan on vaccinating them all again for at LEAST three more years, if not more. Chloe hasn't had vaccines for 5 years and her titer levels showed complete immunity.

I am curious to know how those of you in Lepto prevalent areas handle the Lepto vaccine. Is it something to be concerned about/vaccinated for? All of the dogs have received the vaccine, but I know its duration is questionable. We live in a wooded area and wildlife is very common...I'd rather vaccinate yearly for lepto if that would keep them safe from contracting it. Or is the disease itself overplayed, and their risks minimal?

Thoughts? I don't know enough about the disease and the vaccination to make a comfortable decision.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:13 AM
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Blegh, Lepto is one those vaccines that I struggle with. On one hand, my dogs play in forest preserves and swamps, so I know they are at risk, and it is a very serious disease. It's treatable but fatalities aren't exactly rare from what I understand.

OTOH, the vaccines only covers 4 out of MANY strains, and seems to have a relatively high rate of adverse reactions, and has to be done yearly.

My thought is that if you're going to do it, you should:

-Give it as a solo vaccine, NOT in a 6 or 7 way combo shot.
-Take into account it's relatively short lived immunity duration. If I do lepto, my dogs get it in the spring, right before they're likely to be exposed.
-Space it out nice and far from other vaccinations so that you can be aware if it causes a reaction (ok, so I do that with ALL vaccines, LOL, but especially for lepto)

I would have to do some digging, but I do believe I read an article explaining that while lepto seemed to cause a lot of issues (again, relatively speaking) while given in the combo shot, given solo it was no more risky than say DHPP. I'll dig later to see if I can't find that article.

Macky gets it every spring (in solo form) because she's a swamp creature and has never had a reaction.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:42 AM
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I'm subbing in here, as I'm interested as well!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Never given it, never had a problem. That's about all I know. LOL
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily View Post
Blegh, Lepto is one those vaccines that I struggle with. On one hand, my dogs play in forest preserves and swamps, so I know they are at risk, and it is a very serious disease. It's treatable but fatalities aren't exactly rare from what I understand.

OTOH, the vaccines only covers 4 out of MANY strains, and seems to have a relatively high rate of adverse reactions, and has to be done yearly.

My thought is that if you're going to do it, you should:

-Give it as a solo vaccine, NOT in a 6 or 7 way combo shot.
-Take into account it's relatively short lived immunity duration. If I do lepto, my dogs get it in the spring, right before they're likely to be exposed.
-Space it out nice and far from other vaccinations so that you can be aware if it causes a reaction (ok, so I do that with ALL vaccines, LOL, but especially for lepto)

I would have to do some digging, but I do believe I read an article explaining that while lepto seemed to cause a lot of issues (again, relatively speaking) while given in the combo shot, given solo it was no more risky than say DHPP. I'll dig later to see if I can't find that article.

Macky gets it every spring (in solo form) because she's a swamp creature and has never had a reaction.
Yah, that's kind of what I was thinking.

I had never really given much thought about it as Chloe typically just stays in the yard, but with the munchkins running around in the woods on a daily basis (and a creek being right by the apartment, too) I've given it much more thought.

None of the dogs have had a reaction to it, so I'm less concerned about giving it than I otherwise would be.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:46 PM
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Lepto is super hard to make recommendations about. It used to really be a wilderness disease but with so much urban wildlife it's hard to assess risks for dogs based on lifestyle anymore. The only case of confirmed lepto I've ever seen was a bichon who never left its yard in the city - the city was doing sewer work at the time and we speculate that there were rats coming up into people's yards.

I struggle with the decision since we camp a lot. But I'm just not in a state that has many cases, so so far I haven't done it except for a period of time when we had a neighbor who was feeding raccoons and they were all over the neighborhood. (They've since moved away and I discontinued it.) If I lived in an endemic area, especially if I were rural I would probably vaccinate, despite the vaccine's weaknesses. But I would (and did) the separate single vaccine instead of a DHLPP combo.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Lepto is super hard to make recommendations about. It used to really be a wilderness disease but with so much urban wildlife it's hard to assess risks for dogs based on lifestyle anymore. The only case of confirmed lepto I've ever seen was a bichon who never left its yard in the city - the city was doing sewer work at the time and we speculate that there were rats coming up into people's yards.

I struggle with the decision since we camp a lot. But I'm just not in a state that has many cases, so so far I haven't done it except for a period of time when we had a neighbor who was feeding raccoons and they were all over the neighborhood. (They've since moved away and I discontinued it.) If I lived in an endemic area, especially if I were rural I would probably vaccinate, despite the vaccine's weaknesses. But I would (and did) the separate single vaccine instead of a DHLPP combo.
I was hoping you would pop in!

Funny you mention urban wildlife, because a local integrative vet here has a blog, and I was reading about how she almost lost her dog due to lepto. The dog had not be vaccinated because she rarely ventured into wilderness areas. But a lot of rainfall had left the yard full of standing water, and the vet believed that was how she contracted it.

Is there any way for me to find out how often lepto is diagnosed in my area?
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:05 PM
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Is there any way for me to find out how often lepto is diagnosed in my area?
Depending on your state, it may be a reportable disease for humans and/or animals. So you could try asking your state health department and state veterinary board or board of animal health. Also, if you have a veterinary college or other large referral centers you could try to get a feel from them as they probably see a larger number of cases than any single general practitioner.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Depending on your state, it may be a reportable disease for humans and/or animals. So you could try asking your state health department and state veterinary board or board of animal health. Also, if you have a veterinary college or other large referral centers you could try to get a feel from them as they probably see a larger number of cases than any single general practitioner.
Cool, I'll try to see what I can find. I always feel so conflicted about this particular vaccination.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:45 PM
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I always feel so conflicted about this particular vaccination.
I hear you... I do, too. I wish it would drop off the face of the earth, along with Lyme disease.
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