Skip to main content

Leptospirosis

Facts & Vaccine Recommendations
Leptospirosis is an illness caused by spiral- shaped bacterium. It is considered a reemerging disease in Indiana, meaning it appears to be happening more often than in the past. Even though Leptospirosis remains an uncommon disease, illness in dogs can be severe and often involves 
kidney failure,  liver disease, fever, and numerous other signs. People can also become affected, sometimes seriously, with everything from flu-like symptoms to infections involving vital organs. 

Various wild animals and livestock, including mice, rats, deer, raccoons, opossums, and cattle, serve as "reservoirs" of the disease and if infected shed the causative bacteria in their urine. In this way, soil or water, especially slow-moving warmer water such as that found in ponds, ditches, or puddles, can become contaminated with the bacteria. Dogs usually become infected by exposure to contaminated water or soil. People can become infected by exposure to contaminated water or soil as well, or by exposure to the urine of dogs with the disease. Caught early, Leptospirosis is generally treatable, though the care required is often intensive and expensive. 

Vaccines are currently available against most of the different types of leptospira bacteria that cause illness in dogs. These newer vaccines were developed to be both safer and more effective that older vaccines, which were associated with an increased risk of vaccine reactions. 

Because most of our canine patients could become exposed to contaminated water or soil, because the disease can be very severe and expensive to treat, and because people are also at risk of acquiring the disease, we recommend routine vaccination of most dogs against Leptospirosis. We do not routinely recommend vaccination of dogs under 5 lbs or Dachshunds because these patients seem more susceptible to leptospira vaccine reactions. In addition, dogs that rarely go outside may be at reduced risk of infection, though judging the risk of an individual dog becoming infected is difficult. 

If your dog has never been vaccinated against Leptospirosis, we'll give them an initial vaccine then have you return in three (3) weeks for a booster vaccination. After this initial series, an annual booster will be given during their routine check - up. For dogs at increased risk of acquiring the disease, such as dogs that swim or hunt regularly or spend time in rural settings, a booster vaccination every six (6) months is recommended. The initial Leptospirosis vaccination series is currently included in our Puppy Package (except for very small dogs, and/or Dachshunds).

If you have any questions about Leptospirosis, the vaccination, the risk to people, etc. please don't hesitate to ask. You can call us here at Hazel Dell Animal Hospital at 317-846-8710.



written by Danielle Fuller ~ RVT

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clark Bassett, DVM

Have you met this owner yet?
 Dr. Bassett is a lifelong resident of Central Indiana. He grew up in Anderson, then attended Purdue University. He graduated from Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. After graduation, Dr. Bassett practiced in Eastern Iowa and worked on many different kinds of animals (dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, horses, sheep, etc.). In 1991, he returned to Indianapolis and began a career in emergency practice that continues to this day. He was manager of the Animal Emergency Clinic in Castleton from 1995-1998 and director of the Northwood Veterinary Emergency Practice in Anderson from 1998-2002, where he continued to work part-time as a staff veterinarian until 2013. Since starting the Hazel Dell Animal Hospital with Dr. McDaniel in 2002, Dr. Bassett has worked primarily in general practice, providing medical and surgical care to dogs and cats and other assorted small furry creatures.
Dr. Bassett is a resident of Carmel, where he lives with his wife Jill (a perso…

Back to School for Your Pets

Back to school is a very exciting time for many kids and parents near our animal hospital here in Carmel. What about your pet though? All of a sudden the family is leaving when they have been home for a few months. Some pets do very well, while others become anxious and destructive. What can you do about it?  Below you will find a few simple tips that may help. 

Give Your Pet an Adjustment Period Anytime there will be big changes in your pets lives, it is a good idea to have some adjustment time. If you are getting the kids up the week before to get settled into a routine, then why not help your pets too. You can head outside for a quick morning walk just to get them used to the idea that you will be leaving or hop in the car and run an errand. It does not have to be long, but enough time for them to realize that you did not just step outside. Just like kids can thrive on routine, your dogs and cats are the same way. 
Set a Routine Maybe you can fly by the seat of your pants, but your pe…

Meet Cindy

Fun Facts about Cindy 1. She loves to to cook and bake. 2. She LOVES ALL Tortie colored kitties. 3. She irons her tablecloth for the holidays.  4. She enjoys gardening. It is a relaxing pastime.   Cindy has been with HDAH since the grand opening! As the office manager she plays an intricate role in the daily operations of Hazel Dell and brought with her many years of management experience. She has a large furry family. Her cats include Jabber, Winston, and newest kitty addition Zeva, followed by Maggie, her sweet dog. Cindy even has some llamas named Cara and Cleo, as well as horses named Zoe and Belle. Cindy can be found frequenting the lobby passing out kisses and treats to our patients and keeping our hospital running at it’s best!