CANINE LEPTO 4-WAY VACCINE, 2ND
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it occurs in humans as well as animals. The infective agent is a one-celled organism called a "leptospire;" there are several dozen known strains, or serovars. The leptospires are shed in the body fluids of infected animals, especially the urine. Primary carriers of Leptospirosis in the wild are raccoons, rodents, feral hogs, cattle and goats. The disease is transmitted by contact with the infected urine.
Infected dogs develop a fever, lethargy, and intense thirst; as the disease progresses, the kidneys start failing. Commonly, the liver will fail also. With intensive care, many dogs can be saved, but commonly have permanent kidney damage. The length of time an infected dog will shed leptospires in its urine can be several weeks.
Dogs infected with Leptospirosis present a very real health threat to their human family members, due to the human exposure to infectious body fluids and urine. Accordingly, it is critically important, not only for the health of our dogs, but for the protection of the health of our families, to keep our dogs immunized against this commonly deadly disease.
Any dog can be exposed to Leptospirosis that goes outside, as most urban and suburban backyards have their fare share of raccoons, rodents, and other critters coming through at night. Additional risk factors for urban and suburban dogs include backyards with outdoor feeding stations for cats (as raccoons and rodents come in to the yard to eat the cat food, also), and bird feeders (as raccoons and rodents snack under/around bird feeders also).
Lifestyles also introduce risk factors: working ranch dogs, dogs who go camping/fishing, and hunting dogs also are at high risk of being exposed to Leptospirosis in the course of their working and hunting activities.
The Leptospirosis bacterin is a 4-way vaccine, meaning it will help create antibodies to the 4 most commonly encountered Leptospirosis serovars. Consisting of an initial 2-vaccine series, with annual boosters, Leptospirosis vaccines are commonly started with the second well-puppy visit.