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@onyx'girl , thank you for sharing your story and bravely using your grief to help others.

@Joanne Miceli, I'm sorry for your loss. I get that you're grieving, but please don't let your grief cause you to scare people away from talking to their vets, by offering hyperbolic, blanket claims ("Your dog does not need this vaccine"). Even when the statistical risk of a severe side effect is relatively low, it REALLY SUCKS to be the unlucky one. As @Sabis mom noted, it's very important to keep that in perspective.

The gold-standard, best-researched, evidence-based advice, developed by a blue-ribbon panel of top experts, and updated regularly, is published by the AAHA here:

AAHA has designated lepto a "non-core" vaccine that may be needed based on lifestyle and regional prevalence. That means there is no one-size-fits-all advice because SOME dogs need it -- but not all of them. There is even a handy "lifestyle calculator" in the guidelines to help discuss the matter with a local vet who knows whether lepto cases are showing up. (Not all vets follow the AAHA guidelines, but the best ones do IMHO -- clients should be familiar with it, and take the guidelines with them during the visit with the vet to talk about the non-core vacccines and lifestyle calculator together.)

A woman came by our rescue's booth at an event one year, wracked with guilt over her GSD's recent passing. She "read online" that she should decline the lepto vax -- and then her dog caught lepto and died of it. The anti-vax advice caused her to make a fatal miscalculation by not trusting her vet's advice -- her vet knew we are a high lepto area and tried to educate her, but she believed random internet strangers instead of the professional she was paying to keep her dog healthy. My vet sees a lot of kidney failure in unvaxed dogs -- he wouldn't mind titering rabies or DAPP, but he begs people to get the 4-way lepto vaccine.

We've debunked the "oh, but it's treatable" anti-vaxer myth about lepto before, but here we go again:

The symptoms for lepto are so vague and mild in early, treatable stages that many good owners don't take their dog to the vet for them right away. The window for treatment with antibiotics closes quickly -- and once kidney damage sets in, the antibiotics won't fix that kidney damage. So, sure, if you're lucky, you'll get your dog on antibiotics fast enough, while it's easily cured, but many good owners don't have that chance because the symptoms aren't bad enough until the dog goes into kidney failure. Kidney damage is not curable. So if you're going to talk about cures, please talk about the full picture.

Oh, and then there's the risk of your kid picking up lepto from your dog while it's infectious. A urine accident in the house becomes a bio-hazard for the humans.

I'm all for separating vaccines to reduce the risk of reactions. I have way, way too many raccoons and other critters peeing where my dogs like to walk for me skip this vaccine entirely though.
 

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@Magwart , you raise another great point. For my years in Alberta I gave puppy vaccines and nothing else. There had not been a case of rabies in that province in 30 years, distemper was rare, as was Lepto. We also gave no heartworm or flea/tick treatments. Nothing was needed.
Regional issues need to be discussed with your vet. I will not vaccinated simply because. No one should. You need to monitor your region, and factor whether or not you travel.
 

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You did not tell people to talk to their vet. You told them they didn't need the vaccines based on your claim that your dog had a reaction to the vaccine. So you got lucky by catching it on time. Many don't.

So I'll say it again....people need to discuss with their vet.

I have no desire to read an article written by someone with no credentials in a non scientific magazine.
Anyone who takes advice without talking to their vet first is a fool...isn't that obvious? Dr.Patricia Jordan is a pillar in the veterinary community and has been called as an expert witness in many court cases. Here is her resume: Dr. Patricia Jordan – Curriculum Vitae
 

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I lost a dog to lepto...not the vaccine as I didn't vaccinate him. 4 years after contracting lepto, his kidneys failed again....slow decline to the inevitable death.
I do vaccinate my dogs now. Lepto is prevalent in many environments and I know the risk of the vaccine is not as much as the bacteria entering the system of an unprotected dog. I give the vax separated out from all other shots, give an anti-vaccinosis remedy and milk thistle. I've not had any of my dogs show symptoms due to the administering of the vaccine.
It would be a good idea to have bloodwork done 30 days after the vaccine to see if any autoimmune response has started.
 

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I lost a dog to lepto...not the vaccine as I didn't vaccinate him. 4 years after contracting lepto, his kidneys failed again....slow decline to the inevitable death.
I do vaccinate my dogs now. Lepto is prevalent in many environments and I know the risk of the vaccine is not as much as the bacteria entering the system of an unprotected dog. I give the vax separated out from all other shots, give an anti-vaccinosis remedy and milk thistle. I've not had any of my dogs show symptoms due to the administering of the vaccine.
Hi Jane, I'm so sorry about your dog. I guess that's just another case were the vaccine covers only 4 of the 200 serovars that a dog can ingest. The article in this magazine explains why that may have happened to you. [UPDATED] Read This Before You Vaccinate For Lepto
 

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@Magwart , you raise another great point. For my years in Alberta I gave puppy vaccines and nothing else. There had not been a case of rabies in that province in 30 years, distemper was rare, as was Lepto. We also gave no heartworm or flea/tick treatments. Nothing was needed.
Regional issues need to be discussed with your vet. I will not vaccinated simply because. No one should. You need to monitor your region, and factor whether or not you travel.
Exactly correct. The region where I live does not have a big lepto problem and if you don't allow your dog to drink standing water or from streams, you have a low risk of getting lepto.
 

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Hi Jane, I'm so sorry about your dog. I guess that's just another case were the vaccine covers only 4 of the 200 serovars that a dog can ingest. The article in this magazine explains why that may have happened to you. [UPDATED] Read This Before You Vaccinate For Lepto
I don't think you understood Jane's post. Her dog was NOT vaccinated at all. That's WHY he got sick.

Anyone who takes advice without talking to their vet first is a fool...isn't that obvious? Dr.Patricia Jordan is a pillar in the veterinary community and has been called as an expert witness in many court cases. Here is her resume: Dr. Patricia Jordan – Curriculum Vitae
Are you a vet? Because you told people they did not need this vaccination. You did NOT tell people to consult with their vet. That was your post. So instead of just saying 'hey my bad, yes you should consult with a vet because this is a possible outcome" you just keep posting a non scientific article and arguing. But hey - you do you. I think Maggie covered all the bases in detail for others that follow that might take your words as gospel and be a "fool".
 

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I'm just replying to make sure Magwart's post doesn't get lost in the anti babble.

@onyx'girl , thank you for sharing your story and bravely using your grief to help others.


@Joanne Miceli, I'm sorry for your loss. I get that you're grieving, but please don't let your grief cause you to scare people away from talking to their vets, by offering hyperbolic, blanket claims ("Your dog does not need this vaccine"). Even when the statistical risk of a severe side effect is relatively low, it REALLY SUCKS to be the unlucky one. As @Sabis mom noted, it's very important to keep that in perspective.

The gold-standard, best-researched, evidence-based advice, developed by a blue-ribbon panel of top experts, and updated regularly, is published by the AAHA here:

AAHA has designated lepto a "non-core" vaccine that may be needed based on lifestyle and regional prevalence. That means there is no one-size-fits-all advice because SOME dogs need it -- but not all of them. There is even a handy "lifestyle calculator" in the guidelines to help discuss the matter with a local vet who knows whether lepto cases are showing up. (Not all vets follow the AAHA guidelines, but the best ones do IMHO -- clients should be familiar with it, and take the guidelines with them during the visit with the vet to talk about the non-core vacccines and lifestyle calculator together.)

A woman came by our rescue's booth at an event one year, wracked with guilt over her GSD's recent passing. She "read online" that she should decline the lepto vax -- and then her dog caught lepto and died of it. The anti-vax advice caused her to make a fatal miscalculation by not trusting her vet's advice -- her vet knew we are a high lepto area and tried to educate her, but she believed random internet strangers instead of the professional she was paying to keep her dog healthy. My vet sees a lot of kidney failure in unvaxed dogs -- he wouldn't mind titering rabies or DAPP, but he begs people to get the 4-way lepto vaccine.

We've debunked the "oh, but it's treatable" anti-vaxer myth about lepto before, but here we go again:

The symptoms for lepto are so vague and mild in early, treatable stages that many good owners don't take their dog to the vet for them right away. The window for treatment with antibiotics closes quickly -- and once kidney damage sets in, the antibiotics won't fix that kidney damage. So, sure, if you're lucky, you'll get your dog on antibiotics fast enough, while it's easily cured, but many good owners don't have that chance because the symptoms aren't bad enough until the dog goes into kidney failure. Kidney damage is not curable. So if you're going to talk about cures, please talk about the full picture.

Oh, and then there's the risk of your kid picking up lepto from your dog while it's infectious. A urine accident in the house becomes a bio-hazard for the humans.

I'm all for separating vaccines to reduce the risk of reactions. I have way, way too many raccoons and other critters peeing where my dogs like to walk for me skip this vaccine entirely though.
 

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I don't think you understood Jane's post. Her dog was NOT vaccinated at all. That's WHY he got sick.



Are you a vet? Because you told people they did not need this vaccination. You did NOT tell people to consult with their vet. That was your post. So instead of just saying 'hey my bad, yes you should consult with a vet because this is a possible outcome" you just keep posting a non scientific article and arguing. But hey - you do you. I think Maggie covered all the bases in detail for others that follow that might take your words as gospel and be a "fool".
Why would anybody take someone's opinion as gospel on an online forum?
 

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Getting vaccine advice from anti-vaxer Facebook groups, instead of a credentialed vet relying on evidence-based AAHA guidelines, is negligent pet ownership. Nothing good comes out of using FB for "research."

For those who are scared -- and I get that -- please balance your temptation to doom-scroll on FB by regularly reading the Skeptvet blog -- http://skeptvet.com/Blog/ . He regularly uses hard science to debunk scare-mongering on various topics published in Dogs Naturally (which he has occasionally referred to as "the ever-unreliable Dogs Naturally"), and elsewhere -- and when evidence changes, he notes that too.
 

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You are new here and don’t have the benefit we do of knowing each other well. Maggie has much much more experience than you do. You have one example of losing a dog that you think traces back to the vaccine. But it’s anecdotal evidence with a sample of one. Maggie has handled hundreds of dogs with her rescue and so her experience is much closer to being statistically significant than yours is. It is not to downplay your loss. It’s awful but it may not be scientifically correct. To follow your line of reasoning, why should we take you at your word when we don’t know you at all?

As an example, someone came here blaming Bravecto for the death of two dogs from the same disease, even though there is no data to even suggest that may be true. I had a dog on Bravecto for two years who had a severe allergic reaction, so I stopped using it. I researched Bravecto when I first tried it and found several hysteria sites blaming it for a huge variety of diseases, none of which approached a statistically significant number or scientific accuracy. The truth is, if something is that deadly, the manufacturers would pull it themselves. The lawsuits if they were found to knowingly kill dogs would put them under.
 

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Our other GSD/St Bernard mix died in 2007 from IMHA, 4 months after her only lepto shot. For me, it is clear.
It could be a sad coincidence, too. My neighbor’s dogs kept dying of mysterious illnesses. She lost four dogs, one after another and blamed her dog sitter. I happened to be in her yard and saw snail bait all over her garden. I pointed that out to her and she asked me to leave and then moved. I think she accidentally poisoned her own dogs. The point isn’t to blame anyone but to say it was coincidence not cause.
 

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You are new here and don’t have the benefit we do of knowing each other well. Maggie has much much more experience than you do. You have one example of losing a dog that you think traces back to the vaccine. But it’s anecdotal evidence with a sample of one. Maggie has handled hundreds of dogs with her rescue and so her experience is much closer to being statistically significant than yours is. It is not to downplay your loss. It’s awful but it may not be scientifically correct. To follow your line of reasoning, why should we take you at your word when we don’t know you at all?

As an example, someone came here blaming Bravecto for the death of two dogs from the same disease, even though there is no data to even suggest that may be true. I had a dog on Bravecto for two years who had a severe allergic reaction, so I stopped using it. I researched Bravecto when I first tried it and found several hysteria sites blaming it for a huge variety of diseases, none of which approached a statistically significant number or scientific accuracy. The truth is, if something is that deadly, the manufacturers would pull it themselves. The lawsuits if they were found to knowingly kill dogs would put them under.
The critical care facility, where my GSD spent his last 7 days at $8,000 was actually the entity that told me it was the vaccine and that they see it often. They are board certified veterinarians at a well-established hospital.
 

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Additonally, my own vet who gave my GSD the lepto vaccine reported the adverse event to the USDA and to Merial, who manufactured the vaccine.
 

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The critical care facility, where my GSD spent his last 7 days at $8,000 was actually the entity that told me it was the vaccine and that they see it often. They are board certified veterinarians at a well-established hospital.
Well, I am sorry for your loss and if that is the case, the manufacturer should be blamed. I’m wondering what scientific evidence your vet uses to back the statement.
 

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Additonally, my own vet who gave my GSD the lepto vaccine reported the adverse event to the USDA and to Merial, who manufactured the vaccine.
How long ago was this? I didn't read through all the posts so forgive me for not knowing all the facts of your situation. FWIW, my vet at the time thought she had vaccinated my dog for Lepto as she vaccinates basically 99% of the dogs in her practice for it. I was one that declined(this was in the early 2000's and the vax has become much safer since then. I am fully aware the vaccine only covers four strains, yet those are the most common strains. I am not unversed on this, I did plenty of research about the vax and the bacteria. Don't assume the people posting here are clueless. The UK Novibac group has obviously given legs to the lepto anti-vaccine movement. I would not give that one either if I was asked to.
Yet, there are other manufacturers that give it with no issues.
My dogs are healthy, no auto-immune issues. I would not vaccinate unnecessarily ever. I am all for minimal vaccinating, but pick and choose where I protect my dogs.
 
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