When is the Leptospirosis vaccine given to dogs?
This vaccine is given at 12 weeks and repeated again at 16 weeks. It is then given on a yearly basis.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of the kidneys and liver. It is one of two diseases we vaccinate for in which people can also be infected. Rabies is the other. Like rabies, many species of animals are carriers and potential transmitters of the disease. Animals in Comal and Bexar counties which can carry leptospirosis include but are not limited to: rats, mice, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, skunks, deer, cattle, pigs, horses, rabbits, and dogs. Due to this wide range of animal hosts, leptospirosis is just as important for dogs in cities as it is for those in rural areas.
How are dogs infected with leptospirosis?
Dogs are usually infected when they lick the urine from an infected animal. Infected urine can be in the soil, grass, puddles, or other water sources.
What are the symptoms of leptospirosis?
Infection results in severe liver and kidney disease causing the following symptoms: fever, lack of appetite, excessive water consumption, excessive urination, and lethargy. Leptospirosis is often fatal when untreated.
How can I help prevent leptospirosis?
In addition to staying current with the leptospirosis vaccination, preventative steps include restricting dogs from areas of stagnant water as well as areas of dense wildlife. As a general rule, it is a good idea for people to avoid contact with urine or other bodily fluids of any dog which is not feeling well, especially if they are exhibiting symptoms consistent with leptospirosis.