Leptospirosis Vaccine - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Leptospirosis Vaccine

Is it possible to give the Leptospirosis Vaccine by itself or is it always in a combo shot with distemper/parvo and other vaccines?
How common is the lepto disease?
I don't want to over-vaccinate my dog. She is 4 years old and she does a lot of swimming. She has already had the distemper/parvo shots in the past and I have read these particular vaccines last for a long time; I don't want to give them to her again unless I have to.
Thank you for any opinions you have that you can share.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 10:04 PM
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You should be able to request the omission of the Lepto. I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with your areas prevelance with Lepto cases though. You can google search using key phrases, Lepto cases in city, state. Knowing if your area is a high risk area will help you make a better informed decision.

My quick googling came up with this, scroll down a little and you will find a color coded map. https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...9002331730059X It was just a quick search and you may find better info in on our search.

You can request a titer test for parvo and distemper which will show whether or not she is still protected. The titer is a bit more expensive than the vaccines but imho very much worth it.

The only vaccine required by law is the rabies vaccine.

I opted out of the Lepto but due to our life style, the risk is slim. I also titer every third yr for parvo and distemper.

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Last edited by Heartandsoul; 05-20-2018 at 10:46 PM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 10:35 PM
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Yes Lepto can be given separately and I believe it’s a 2 shot series given a couple weeks apart.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 10:41 PM
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Lepto- The disease has also been associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. As such, it is a recreational hazard for campers or those who participate in outdoor sports. The risk is likely greater for those who participate in these activities in tropical or temperate climates. right off the cdc website
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2018, 10:58 PM
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The choice to give the Lepto vaccine was, for me, based on risk factors.

Dogs that often drink out of puddles, dogs that are constantly in and out of lakes and rivers frequented by wildlife, exposure to residual wild animal body fluids, the fact that our area is thick with raccoons and other mammals.... I've opted to vaccinate.

If there comes a point when one of my dogs doesn't have such a high risk of exposure, stays indoors more or in better groomed outdoor environments due to age/illness, I'll probably stop having it administered and let it expire for that dog.

I have asked my vet to split it off from other vaccinations and have it administered separately, on all dogs. That allows me to watch for adverse reactions, which haven't been a problem to date.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 10:07 AM
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Leptospirosis Vaccine

You can get Lepto vaccine by itself. First time is a two set series. Then yearly vaccination. We have a River House out in the middle of nowhere. Lots of animals, streams, puddles, flooded areas. So I choose to vaccinate all three dogs for Lepto and lymes. Never had an issue. And I do vaccinate separately. I also titre for distemper and parvo.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 10:13 AM
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My Dutch shepherd caught Lepto from the urine of an infected possum in my yard, in town. Town dogs are more likely to catch it from an infected possum as their territory is much more limited than country possums, making the likely hood of a dog contacting the possum urine if there is one infected. We live trapped 3 possums in our yard that year. The first was definitely the sick one. I demanded the blood draw and drove the test to K-State myself. It was some of the highest serovars they had seen. Even though the vet we saw (3 vet clinic) did not prescribe the amoxi for 2 weeks in the beginning like she should have, but went straight to doxi Rossi is appearing to suffer no permanent kidney damage. When the original and my favorite vet got back 2 weeks into the 2 months of treatment, we did a round of 2 weeks of both. I missed the first signs of her being stiff and sore acting one morning. Put it to too much play the day before. But then she started vomiting and running a fever..one day pretty much herself, one day of being sick, next day back pretty much to normal. She was never super sick so as she is wicked at the vets, I didn't take her. A few days later she was pretty much herself. BUT was wanting, demanding going nuts to drink water. I researched, and figured I either had a Lepto dog or a diabetic. Many dogs get Lepto and recover with the owners never knowing it. Her white blood cell counts were very high, and they said her body was fighting it like she does everything in life.. balls to the wall...
All that being said, and check with your own vet, and then do your own research as we do not usually have Lepto here. Just a really wet fall that year. I don't vaccinate for it. 2 of the 4 serovars that were high enough to have made her sick, but not the 2 highest, are not covered in even the new vaccine. And it is thought to be good for only 6-9 months...some claim longer, some shorter. If I ever do, it will be split out.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 12:04 PM
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Have never vaccinated for Lepto and no dog ever had a problem. Vaccine risk is higher than the risk of getting infected IMO.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 02:13 PM
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I gave the Lepto vaccine for the first time last year (my boy was 7). I did it alone, with no other vaccines. It was a series.

The reason, we had a pretty big hiking year planned in the backcountry of the Adirondacks. I knew we would be crossing paths with wildlife often. We go out usually for 3 days at a time.

In this case, I felt the risk was higher. This year, I won't give it. I'm not as concerned, our hiking plans are a little different.

I was very nervous about giving the vaccine. Luckily, we did not have any reactions/issues.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 02:48 PM
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Both of our dogs had ONE Parvo and ONE Distemper vaccination (separately) in their lifetime. One is 12 years old and one is 9 1/2.
I titer every year and they have never tested low on either one.

Gives accolades to Dr. Schultz's work!
Dr. Ron Schultz's (Vaccine Research) study results:
Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines:
Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.”

BUT.....this is not true for every dog. That is why it is so important to titer.

Please titer before getting those vaccinations. If your vet won't do it.....find one that will.

I never give lepto.


Dr. Jean Dodds is a world known for her research.
Canine NON-Core Vaccines: Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Search results for: core vaccines
"Dr. Dodds considers infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus-1), canine adenovirus-2, bordetella, canine influenza, canine coronavirus, leptospirosis, and Lyme regional and situational. Please research the prevalence in your area, and discuss it with your veterinarian."

http://dr-jordan.com/wp-content/uplo...cia-Jordan.pdf “Since there are so many Leptospirosis serovars out there, and since the pathogenic strains vary, and since the vaccines cannot guarantee protection from infection, it would make better sense to not inject your dog with any Leptospira vaccines. The trade offs to avoiding adverse events from vaccination - not the least of which can be renal failure within 48 hours of injection, or four years of dermatitis and puritis – would be the human caretakers actually knowing their dog is sick with a pathogenic strain and having their dog presented immediately for treatment. To do this, animal guardians need to be aware of the symptoms of Leptospirosis in the dog.”

Dr. Schultz Update on Leptospirosis Vaccines (2012)

Snapshot of Leptospirosis Strains and Vaccines

Vaccinations and How They Disrupt the Immune System

Immune Disorders and Vaccines

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

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