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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Any suggestions about protecting my one-year-old dog from lepto?

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Q.Any suggestions about protecting my one-year-old dog from lepto? My five-year-old dog died from it almost two years ago. He had four strains, and two had no vaccine. I run titers on my dogs. My 13-year-old dog has not had DHPP since 2002. I do a rabies vaccine by law. I feed the 13-year-old a raw diet, and the one-year-old is on a natural brand of dog food. What else can I do?

 

A.This is a delicate situation to give advice on. Yes, there are new strains of this illness for which no vaccines offer protection. I don’t know exactly which strains you are referencing above. Fort Dodge now offers the Duramune Leptospirosis vaccine that immunizes against L. grippotyphosa and L. pomona as well as L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. canicola.

I’m not a big fan of vaccinating for lepto, but then I do not practice in a very high-risk area. I have seen too many adverse reactions to the vaccine, including kidney failure and death.

My general advice is to focus on health, as you seem to be doing already, along with avoiding potential exposure. Leptospira thrive in spring and autumn when wet soil conditions and moderate temperatures support their otherwise poor survival. Infection by contact with infected urine or ingesting urine-contaminated water is the most common means of transmission. So avoiding these scenarios is key in locations where lepto is reported. If the illness is suspected, early treatment with appropriate antibiotics is generally quite successful.