There isn't a right answer -- and people who live in a black and white world where there's very low lepto risk tend to get hysterical about the vaccine without understanding the risk of death lepto poses for those of us in high-risk areas. I would encourage you to focus on what's going on in your local environment -- ask your vet if he or she is seeing lepto cases, and to check whether colleagues at other clinics are (vets talk about these things at continuing ed events, so your vet is likely to be quite well-informed of what diseases are actually manifesting locally).
It's well documented that lepto cases tend to explode after floods in areas where lepto already exists. That's why there was an epidemic of it in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. However, sometimes in very wet areas, it's just always there (Louisiana).
I live in a very, very high lepto area -- my vet sees it regularly, especially in late Summer/early Fall (a very wet time for us). He's told me that if he were in a world where he had to choose only one vaccine for his patients, it would be lepto because there's so much of it and so many cases aren't caught in time (he sees cases literally from my neighborhood because we have lots of raccoons, foxes and other critters that pee all over the environment our dogs walk in). I have met people who bought into the anti-vax hysteria (choosing not to vaccinate because of what they read on the Internet), whose dogs died of it -- I vividly recall one lady sobbing at an adoption event as she told me the story of her beloved GSD dying of kidney failure because of that choice. The guilt she lived with was very painful.
My vet has not seen a single lepto case in a vaccinated dog. So while there's lots of Internet musing about the vaccine not being useful because of the many strains of lepto that exist worldwide, it's covering the most common ones very effectively in my region of the U.S. Clinical experience is simply not supporting the claim that it doesn't effectively cover what dogs are encountering in their environment in high-lepto areas.
You will also likely encounter anti-vax people who will try to tell you it's treatable with simple antibiotics. They've probably never actually treated a lepto dog...but think they know. Before you accept their advice, ask them how many lepto dogs they've successfully taken through this treatment that they claim is so easy! The real problem is that the "easy" treatment window is in the very early stage of the disease, and its symptoms are so vague that most people aren't worried enough about them to get the dog into the vet to run bloodwork and check kidney function early. So by the time the symptoms are bad enough to get to the vet, your dog might already be in kidney failure -- and then you're looking at thousands of dollars of intensive intervention, a high mortality rate, and life-long kidney damage if it survives.
OTOH, if nobody ever sees a lepto case in your area, and you live in an urban area without wildlife to bring it in....it might be totally unnecessary.
My dogs get a stand-alone 4-way lepto vaccine that's separated from anything else by about 3 weeks. That simple step can lower the risk of vaccine reaction.
Last edited by Magwart; 06-26-2019 at 12:16 PM.