Leptospirosis L4 Vaccine

As part of your dog’s annual booster, we vaccinate against Leptospirosis every year. In line with our aim to provide your pets with the best care we can, we have decided to change our vaccine for Leptospirosis to a product that covers a wider number of strains.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis, also known in humans as ‘Weil’s’ disease, is a bacterial disease that can present in a number of ways. Early signs can be vague and non-specific, and consequently is likely to be underdiagnosed. However, the disease can progress to potentially fatal liver and/or kidney failure. The other complicating factor with Leptospirosis is that animals that appear well and unaffected, can shed bacteria in their urine and go on to infect other dogs, livestock and wildlife, and worryingly, people.

How is it Transmitted? What are the Risk Factors?

We are lucky to be in such proximity to fields, rivers and lakes. Many of our clients enjoy working their dogs and taking part in social outdoor events. This lifestyle presents an increased risk to dogs as the bacteria is maintained in the environment by rodents and animals can consequently be infected by contact with the urine of these reservoir hosts or infected dogs, or indirectly from contaminated water.

Why the Change in Vaccine?

Previously we vaccinated against two strains:

              L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae

The new vaccine includes representatives of the main FOUR strains of Leptospirosis and also will lead to some cross-immunisation with other types within these main strains, thereby giving a more comprehensive vaccine.

Studies have shown that more dogs are being exposed to these extra strains. Data collected over a 5 year period showed the 4 strains covered by the new vaccine account for 85% of positive results.

This new vaccine is also shown to reduce the shedding of the bacteria from the kidneys, and so controlling the spread of the disease.

About the Vaccine

  • Can be used from 6 weeks of age.
  • 2nd dose must be 4 weeks after the 1st (for puppies and adults restarting with the new vaccine)
  • 12 months duration of immunity
  • Safe for pregnant bitches
  • Full immunity not until 3 weeks after the 2nd vaccine.

If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, please call either Oundle on 01832 273521 or Thrapston on 01832 732632.