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To vaccinate for Lepto or not?

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  • To vaccinate for Lepto or not?

    I have a 4 year old Airedale Terrier. Up to date on shots but while getting rabies shot, vet asks if I want to vaccinate for Lepto. Told me its my decision either way, would recommend it but has been known in the past for some reactions. Either way, recommended me to think on it as she didn't want to group all shots at once and if I wanted it, she'd do it in another week or so. There are Lepto cases in my area, and told me it can spiral through their paws from the ground.

    So would you...????

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:

  • #2
    Airedale specific problems?


    • #3
      Well, think about where you might run in to lepto. Are you/your dog often around cattle, sheep, run off water?

      If not, might not make sense to vaccinate for.

      I do. But my dogs spend time at the farm.
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #4
        It's transmitted most commonly by urine from infected animals.
        Has the dog ever been vaccinated for it? Is it around a lot of other dogs? Wooded areas and ponds? I'm of the school of thought that the less times we poison our dogs with vaccines the better. Every vaccine can have potentially negative effects. Our dogs always get their puppy boosters for everything, but once those are done only rabies.
        I would try to identify the true risk in your area and lifestyle and go from there. To the best of my knowledge lepto is really pretty rare.


        • #5
          Isn't that part of the DHLPP? I thought most people give that every year, no?
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            Here rabbits are the main carriers.
            My dog has had reactions twice to lepto, so now she gets it with another shot to keep her reaction at bay.

            With our abundant wild life, we really don't want to take chances.

            I lost many years ago a horse to lepto.
            Horses are very resistant, but he still got it.
            Dogs are very susceptible, that is why generally they are vaccinated.


            • Original Poster

              Dog has never been vaccinated for Lepto. We do have Lepto from opossums, raccoons, etc that are in our yard. We live in wooded areas and I board dogs at my house as I pet sit on the side.

              Side effects aren't breed specific...Just wasn't sure how many people actually do it. My last Airedale was vaccinated but that was with a different vet where I didn't really have much of an opinion.

              Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:


              • #8
                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                Isn't that part of the DHLPP? I thought most people give that every year, no?
                I thought so, too.


                • #9
                  I would as it is quite common in your area according to some recent CE I attended. While considered a non-core vaccine for years, it is now considered a core vaccine in many areas.


                  • #10
                    I would. My standard poodle almost died from Lepto. In fact, my vet now routinely suggests the vaccine - he hadn't before she got it. It had been so rare in our area that he didn't think it was worth the risk of adverse side effects. The scare she gave us made him change his tune.


                    • #11
                      Studies show the majority of the lepto vaccine reactions are in toy breeds and Dachshunds.

                      I would NOT vaccinate a dog that sits around the house all day, goes for walks around the block, and goes once a week to the dog park.

                      I WOULD vaccinate a dog that roams free, runs around in the woods, plays at the barn/farm, swims in/drinks out of/plays in standing water or has a large yard frequented by wildlife.

                      The 4-way vaccine protects against 4 lepto serovars. Vaccinating your dog does NOT mean your dog will not get lepto. He could get a serovar that was not in the vaccination (there is little to no cross-protection between serovars), or he could get one of the strains in the vaccine, but have a milder course of disease (which is better - less clinical signs, less shedding etc.).

                      I would vaccinate mine. My opinion is that it's better to spend the $40 and have an uncommon vaccine reaction then spend $2000 on a prolonged hospital stay trying to resuscitate a severely ill, dying dog with failing kidneys.


                      • #12
                        My dog gets hers every year I think. Just had it a few weeks ago. She's never had a reaction, fwiw.
                        <3 Vinnie <3
                        Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred


                        • #13
                          My dogs have never had a reaction. We live in the woods and they are older, so they only get rabies and lepto now. I have seen several cases of Lepto at work...so it is out there.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                            Isn't that part of the DHLPP? I thought most people give that every year, no?
                            Yes, it's the "L", but many vets offer/do DHPP or DAPP as well or instead due to the number of dogs who have reactions. Lauren12 pretty much summed up my thoughts. I've also seen reactions in several border collies & aussies, but then I've seen more of those dogs vaccinated for it than other breeds as they tend to live higher risk lifestyles. I do not vaccinate my dogs, but they are generally house mutts whose getting out & about consists of walks in urban environments.

                            OP, I would absolutely vaccinate if I were you. You are in a higher occurrence area and your dog is living a higher risk lifestyle. You have other dogs coming in as well. Lepto is highly communicable. In your situation, potential benefit greatly outweighs potential risk.

                            An additional point that Lauren12 touched on- lepto vaccination does NOT mean your dog is 100% protected and has a fast "wear off" rate, much like the bordetella vaccine. Think of the lepto (and bordetella) vacs like the human flu shot- it covers prevalent strains of the disease, but not all. So titers don't work for lepto- it is a different kind of vac (someone will chime in and remind me of the technical difference) and requires a yearly booster due to the fast burn off rate & nature of the vaccine. I didn't explain that very well, did I? More coffee needed...
                            bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                            free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


                            • #15
                              I certainly would. My 13 year old got it this year and it was UGLY. Dialysis and the whole 9 yards. Didn't realize my (ex) vet hadn't done it with out any discussion.
                              "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                              • #16
                                I think that whether or not Lepto is given as a manner of course is very regional. Our distemper vaccine at the clinic I worked didn't give Lepto vaccine as part of the normal course--mostly city dogs. We special ordered the vaccine for clients.

                                Same with the Lymes vaccine.

                                Here, both seem to be par for the course when you do routine vaccs.

                                I guess I see doing Lepto in dogs the way I see doing PHF in horses. I would rather vaccinate and possible end up with a lesser illness even though it's not 100% ish effective than take the risk of the full blown disease.

                                My friend lost a horse to PHF after thousands in bills. I got away with a 300 dollar course of abx and an emergency call. KWIM?
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                  I think that whether or not Lepto is given as a manner of course is very regional.
                                  You'd think. In my case t the time I was in Florida, in a low area with lots of standing water in the wet time of year and with lots of raccoons on the property. All of which the (ex) vet knew.

                                  I guess I see doing Lepto in dogs the way I see doing PHF in horses. I would rather vaccinate and possible end up with a lesser illness even though it's not 100% ish effective than take the risk of the full blown disease.
                                  I totally agree.
                                  "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                                  • #18
                                    That's a tough one. I understand it only lasts about six months, and does not cover all the different strains of lepto.

                                    I live on a farm, had one horse with confirmed lepto, but have never vaccinated our eight dogs, and have not had an issue. Dogs of all ages, sometimes more, sometimes fewer.

                                    I too understand that the lepto portion of the vaccine is the one most often reacted to.

                                    Who knows?!


                                    • #19
                                      Lepto reactions are less common now that vets pre-treat with benadryl (make sure your vet does this!). I would do it. Seen too many young dogs die from lepto (or go home with $5,000 ICU bills). It is also a zoonotic disease, meaning you can get it from your dog.

                                      Its my understanding that the DHLPP only works for dogs who have had a full lepto vaccine, as they are just boosters.

                                      Here, we do DA(H)PP every 3 years, and lepto boosters annually, however we are in an area with high prevelence.

                                      Often splitting vaccines significantly reduces the chance of vaccine reactions.


                                      • #20
                                        I don't vaccinate for it; it's generally seen as an optional vaccine here and isn't considered especially effective according to what I've heard the vets tell clients. In my experiences working at vet clinics and generally being around tons of animals/dogs I have never known a dog to have it.

                                        I've had probably seven dogs that have lived on our ranch/farm type places and out in the wilderness with us nearly every weekend, never an issue.

                                        Maybe it's a regional thing?
                                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey