There are so many ways to promote pet wellness. In addition to the basics like a good diet, daily exercise, and enrichment opportunities, disease prevention is at the heart of responsible pet ownership. It’s always a good idea to assess a dog’s risk of various contagions, and make appropriate lifestyle choices accordingly. The leptospirosis vaccination is among the many ways that dog owners can protect canine health and enhance overall safety.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection commonly transmitted to dogs. Any mammal can be vulnerable to the bacteria, but skunks, raccoons, squirrels, deer, rats, opossums, and livestock are known to be affected. Due to the incredible range of species potentially infected with Leptospira bacteria, it is incredibly important to get your dog the Leptospirosis vaccination.
Know the Risks
Because the Leptospira bacteria can live more than 3 months outside the body or on surfaces, environmental risks are quite high, especially in warm, wet areas. Dogs can contract Leptospirosis in these ways:
- Through friendly encounters with infected animals
- Via animal bites
- By eating meat from an infected animal
- Through any contact with an infected animal’s mucous membranes or urine
- By touching contaminated bedding, water, soil, or food
The Leptospirosis vaccination effectively guards against the disease which causes the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle pain
Severe cases of Leptospirosis can result in sterility and can be fatal. Young dogs are at higher risk of complications. Immediate veterinary care is essential, and antibiotics and close monitoring are normal treatment methods.
Way to Look Out
The Leptospirosis vaccination is important for all dogs regardless of their lifestyle. However, it is mandatory for dogs that spend any time in the wilderness. When infected mammals urinate, it is very easy for the bacteria to infect another animal that steps in a puddle, swims in contaminated water, or simply walks on shared soil. Dog parks can be risky for unvaccinated dogs.
Some small dog breeds may experience adverse allergic reactions to the vaccine. For this reason, we work closely with owners to ensure basic prevention combined with other medications to reduce symptoms. Until a dog has received the necessary immunity from Leptospirosis, it is a good idea to reduce possible exposure at all costs.
When In Doubt
We follow the AAHA vaccination guide of core vaccinations for dogs, which include:
In addition to the above, we take your dog’s lifestyle into consideration when designing their wellness plan. If your dog travels out of state, spends time hiking or camping, regularly visits the dog park, and/or attends day care facilities, it is highly likely that we’d recommend the Leptospirosis vaccination.
In tandem with other “non-core” vaccines (including ones for Lyme disease, Bordetella, Canine influenza, and the rattlesnake toxoid), the long-term health and wellness of active dogs is properly and thoroughly safeguarded.
If you have questions about the Leptospirosis vaccination, and your dog’s overall protection, please give us a call at (404) 633‑6163. Our veterinarians and staff members are always glad to help you at Clairmont Animal Hospital.