Leptospirosis is a spirochete bacteria that causes disease in several animal species including dogs and humans. It is commonly spread via contaminated urine (from affected dogs and other animals including rodents, an important thing to consider when deciding if your pet is at risk). Symptoms to look for include but are not limited to lethargy, fever, decreased appetite, vomiting, drinking and/or urinating more, urinary accidents in the house and yellowing of the skin, eyes or gums.
Dogs at highest risk for infection are those who go to dog parks, grooming/boarding facilities, dog shows, hiking/camping, areas with fresh water, areas where other dogs have urinated or those who live in proximity to rodents or livestock. Most of our canine patients probably fall into one or more of those categories. For this reason, we recommend that owners of our canine patients seriously consider getting their dogs vaccinated.
The vaccine is given as a series of 2 injections 3-4 weeks apart. Dogs should be monitored for a 24 hour period following vaccination. Some soreness at the injection site is not unexpected. Other adverse vaccine reactions are possible, as with any vaccine. If your dog has not had a physical exam with us within the past 30 days, a physical exam will be required for the first vaccine. Call 602-867-2992 for more information or to schedule an appointment.