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Thread: Should we get a shot for lepto?

  1. #1
    alisoninmd Guest

    Should we get a shot for lepto?

    Mr. Rex heads back to the vet a week from tomorrow for a distemper booster. She was asking if we wanted to have him vaccinated for leptosporosis (sp??) and I wasn't really sure if we should do that or not. I guess some areas are worse than others... we do have a bit of water that lies in our backyard after it rains hard.

    Any suggestions? Especially from those in the DC/ Northeast area.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Most here will say no, but what I would do is to call around a few vets in your area and ask their suggestions. Our Buddy does get a Lepto shot, in the Spring as it is not a long lasting vaccine. Also make sure your vet offers the one with something like 5 different strains of Lepto in it. There is more than one type of Lepto shot.

    We live in a very high wildlife area and do have lepto around. We have deer here daily, coyotes, oppossum, ground hogs, turkey, squirrels, racacoons, you name it. Lepto is passed from the carrying animal through urine. When we got Buddy most here poo-poo'd the Lepto shot for doxies. But after speaking to the vets around here, not one would recommend against with where we live, even knowing Buddy had reactions to vaccines in the past. Lepto is bad here in CT, it can also pass easily to humans. With my kids in the house, I felt the risk with was better than the risk without.

    Also it was recommended if we don't have wildlife in your area, if our dog frequented a park or something with wildlife or even other domestics animals and there is any chance they can get into water or puddles. Call the vets in your area, I'd say that's the best advice for where you live. Best of luck!

    Mom to My Crew
    My Human Kids (11, 9, 8)
    Buddy - 5 yr old red piebald tweenie
    Kooper - black and tan piebald pup
    Our 2 cats, 3 geckos and the fish!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I live just south of DC and if I remember correctly you are just north of DC. My vet DOES NOT give the Lepto shot to the doxies.

    Mom to: Elsa, Phoenix, Wetley, Roxy, Stevie & Bella
    In Memory: GOOSEMan 1990 - 2009 , TreyBaby 1997 - 2012, Elsa 1998-2013, and Phoenix, 1997 -2014

  4. #4
    alfina Guest
    I'd follow your vet's advise. It depends on your area and how much risk there is for lepto

  5. #5
    alisoninmd Guest

    Good memory! Yes, we are just north of DC.

  6. #6
    phrogger Guest
    My vet recommended it but I am in a highly agricultrual area. TONS of animals and lots of manuer everywhere.

  7. #7
    Patt Guest
    I would ask the vets in the area. As a rule small dogs should not have the injection. Good luck

  8. #8
    goldie Guest
    My puppy at 3 months old had the lepto vaccine and had a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE (did I saw horrible?) allergic reaction to it. Her face and eyes swelled up and we had to bring her back and forth to the vet for check-ups, medicine, etc. The allergic reaction was diagnosed as juvenile cellulitis or "puppy strangles" which can lead to scarring if not treated. Luckily Olana made it through unscathed because we reacted very quickly to her sudden onset of symptoms.

  9. #9
    Dachshundrsq Guest
    NO...I would NOT give it, my husband quit giving it all together several years ago. The vaccines do not really vaccinate against the type of lepto your dog can get. The reactions are horrific when a dog has them. IMO it isn't worth the risk, esp since it really doesn't work.

  10. #10
    alisoninmd Guest
    Hey guys,

    Rex went for his booster yesterday, and the vet also asked us about giving him the lepto shot- I told him no and why I didn't want him to have it. For one reason or another, he was REALLY pushing this. According to him, the lepto vaccine they give now is "new"- he claims the one that dogs had reactions to was an old version of the vaccine that they stopped giving several years ago.

    I told him no for now- I wanted to check with all of you. Is there some truth to this, or is it BS? We don't have much history with this vet, so of course I want to get other opinions.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Becki Deckers husband Alan is a vet. In fact he is the "DRNA Vet" we use for most of our dogs around the IN/IL/KY area. If Alan tells me no them, I believe him. However, I will ask Alan and Becki if there has been some change.

    Mom to: Elsa, Phoenix, Wetley, Roxy, Stevie & Bella
    In Memory: GOOSEMan 1990 - 2009 , TreyBaby 1997 - 2012, Elsa 1998-2013, and Phoenix, 1997 -2014

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Deltona, FL
    The "new" vaccine (VAX 4) "protects" against four strains of Lepto, vs. 2 in the older vaccines (there are over 10 that affect dogs). Although rates of reaction have gone down- it's likely because more vets are cautious about giving the vaccine to dogs who don't NEED it- and miniature dachshunds are still more commonly seen with reactions to it.

    The common strains affecting dogs come from rats, opposums/raccoons/skunks, cows, pigs and other dogs. The dogs most likely to be affected are young, male, outdoor dogs. Does Rex spend much time around farm animals, forest creatures, or in dirty rat infested water? Probably not. I can't imagine why a vet would push the vaccine to a housedog, unless the area is experiencing a huge outbreak- or the dog's lifestyle puts him at risk.

    What I'd do, Alison- is sit down with the phone book and call around to other vets in your area. Find out how many recommend the vaccine for your dachshund (and Banfield and other "chain" vets don't count- they ALWAYS push for more vaccinations than a dog needs). If ALL the vets do- you really might be in an area with a high incidence of infection, and further thought about the vaccine might be a good idea. If you get mixed reviews, I'm willing to bet that your vet is from the "more vaccinations, the better" school of thought.

    In MOST cases, Lepto is worthless to vaccinate against. There are 10 or more strains that can affect dogs- the "new" vaccine is effective against only 4 of them. And effective is used loosely- as bacterium vaccinations are generally, not very (like Bordetella, for instance). They're more likely to weaken the infection than to prevent it, and it's efficiency is likely much less than a year. Dogs in very high incident areas who are in severe risk would get boosters bi-annually.

    I understand Sandy's position- and in her case, the vaccine is probably justified. But in all likelyhood- it's NOT for Rex.

    Do you let him swim in pond water or stagnant puddles where rats "hang out"? Does Rex visit farms which choose not to vaccinate their animals (cows and pigs usually vaccinated)? Do you go hiking in a high incidence area with Rex- where he might encounter infected wildlife?

    Honestly- the chances of most pet dogs acquiring Lepto is extremely low. And if the vaccine can't prevent your dog from getting it, anyway- why bother?

    What other vaccines was he administering (or trying to adminster)? Vet who push Giardia or Corona on adult dogs need to be questioned. The Lyme vaccine is also highly ineffective- and not worth bothering with in most cases. Vaccinating a healthy adult dog for Parvo or Distemper annually (if they've been vaccinated in the past) is suspicious- as both vaccines are highly effective for long periods of time- some research suggests that a puppy vaccinated for them will be immune for their lifetime. Vaccinating for Rabies every year (when not required by law) is worth a discussion, too- and would be a clue that something else is going on with Rex's vet.

    Good luck! I know it's confusing!!

  13. #13
    tiggermiss Guest
    I'd have to say.....................NO!

    Casey had the shot as a part of his first shots when he was a pup.

    He had a very bad reaction to it!!!!

    He got very itchy
    He vomitted alot!
    Then his mouth got swollen!!!!

    Ask around first!!!!!!
    I have advised my vet never to give Casey that shot!!!!

  14. #14
    alisoninmd Guest
    Thanks, dappled. I think one of the reasons the vet MIGHT be pushing it is because the one vet's husband contracted lepto somehow and got pretty sick from it.

    Our first visit with them was great, and when I talked to the vet or receptionist over the phone we always received great, immediate assistance. This last visit left me a little cold... just a gut feeling. I noticed on the print out they gave me that there were notes for several rounds of shots one year from now- distemper, something else I can't remember, and rabies (Rex only had the one-year vaccine at the shelter). The rabies is required here though by law.

    We have to go through them for one more visit at least- they are one of the vets that participate in the low cost spay/ neuter program which we were required to participate in by the shelter. After, we may be looking for another vet. I'm going to call around and see what other vets are saying. I have used another vet for my guineas for years- they are very experienced with exotics, but treat a lot of cats and dogs too. Since I have a relationship with them, I might just give them a call.

    Thanks again for the input!

  15. #15
    alisoninmd Guest
    Uck, tigger...

    Exactly why I told him I wanted to put this off.


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