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The Granby Animal Clinic, Inc.

 

LEPTOSPIROSIS

 

We offer vaccination for four serotypes of Leptospirosis (L. grippotyphosa, L. Pomona, L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. canicola).

 

Infection with the Leptospirosis spirochete is an important cause of acute kidney and liver disease in dogs. Many different animal species including raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, mice, rats, cattle and sheep are potential sources of infection. The infection is passed in the urine and under the right conditions the organism can live in the environment for months.

 

Pets exposed to water contaminated by wildlife (ponds, streams) are at greatest risk for developing illness, but even couch potatoes who go out in their own yards can become infected. Signs of infection with Leptospirosis vary with the stage of the disease and the infecting serovar. Possible signs include fever, depression, anorexia (loss of appetite), vomiting and generalized pain.

 

Diagnosis of Leptospirosis can be difficult and take weeks. Treatment often needs to be aggressive and is not always successful. In addition, Leptospirosis is considered a zoonotic disease which means that people can contract the disease if exposed to infected urine.

 

Although Leptospirosis is not commonly recognized, the number of infections is on the rise. The seriousness of the infection coupled with the difficulty in diagnosing the problem and the potential human health risk warrants vaccination. We strongly recommend this vaccine for your dog, especially in households with young children or immune compromised family members.

 

Please let the doctor know if you wish to have your dog vaccinated against Leptospirosis. Vaccination consists of an initial series of two vaccinations 3 weeks apart, followed by a yearly booster. Please note that no vaccination is 100 % effective and that no immunity to other serotypes of leptospirosis is given by the vaccination. Mild vaccination reactions (soreness, itching or swelling at site, lethargy) can occur and serious reactions are very rare.

 

We encourage you to discuss any questions that you may have about the vaccine or the disease with the doctor.

 

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