3 Reasons Why Your Dog Needs the Leptospirosis Vaccine in Ukiah, CA
Most dog owners know that their dog will need to be vaccinated as a puppy and then as an adult dog to maintain their protection against a variety of health concerns and diseases. Puppy vaccines are given as a series of shots, and these all need to be given for your puppy to have full protection against various ailments. One of the most serious health concerns that puppies are vaccinated for is Leptospirosis. Lepto is a serious illness that can be contracted by both dogs and humans.
If you have never heard of Leptospirosis, you might not have realized that one of the normal puppy vaccines is for this disease. Some smaller dogs cannot be vaccinated for this condition since they are prone to sensitivities to the vaccine, but all other dogs should be vaccinated. This is one of the more concerning conditions that your dog can contract when they have not been vaccinated, and the risk of long-term health issues and death should make the Leptospirosis vaccine a key consideration in your vaccine plans for your dog.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is carried by wildlife like rats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and even squirrels and deer. When these animals urinate in lakes, streams, or puddles, the Lepto they are carrying can get into the soil in areas that your dog has access to. Dogs that go outside in the yard all the time are more at risk than dogs that spend a lot of time indoors or that do not have access to wooded areas.
This condition causes severe symptoms in many cases, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe weakness
- Lack of appetite
- Severe muscle pain
Younger animals are more likely to be negatively impacted by this condition than older animals. In severe cases, animals can die from Lepto. Since this disease is communicable to humans, you also do not want to expose your family to risk by neglecting to vaccinate your pets for this bacterial illness.
Reasons to Vaccinate Your Dog For Lepto
There are many reasons that you should make sure that your dog is vaccinated for Leptospirosis. This is not a mild illness, and in puppies, it can be quite serious or even deadly.
1. It Is Communicable to Humans
As mentioned above, Lepto is communicable to humans, so if your dog has contracted it, you and your family could be at risk as well. Being sure that your dog is not bringing home an illness that will make your family sick as well can be a big benefit to having your dog vaccinated.
2. The Symptoms Can be Severe
The other reason that you should include Lepto in your vaccination plans for your dogs is that it can cause severe illness and even death. This is one of the conditions that dogs can be prevented from getting that could be deadly without vaccination.
3. It Is Easy to Contract
If you live in an area that allows your dog access to wooded areas or if you go camping a lot with your dog, the need for vaccination is even greater. Your dog will be in constant contact with areas that could be the perfect environment for Leptospirosis to be present. If you choose to vaccinate your dog for this condition they can come with you on your adventures without fear of getting sick.
This is also a condition that is common to all places in the United States, so you cannot assume that your area is uniquely safe. While you might not have had a dog contract Lepto and you might not know anyone in your immediate circle with a dog that has gotten Lepto, that does not mean that the risk is not there. You should always assume that your dog could be exposed to Leptospirosis where you live, even if you hardly ever take them into the woods or to the dog park.
Reasons That Your Dog Might Not be Able to Get the Vaccine
There are some cases where small dogs are not able to tolerate the vaccine. Your vet will likely still attempt to give your pet the second shot in their booster series just to give them the most basic protection. This second dose will likely need to be given under observation at the animal hospital, with antihistamines and other medications given first to help prevent another allergic reaction.
If your dog cannot be vaccinated for Lepto due to allergies to the vaccine, you will need to be very careful about letting them be outside for extended periods of time, and you should avoid wooded areas where they might be exposed to Lepto. You will need to be sure that your dog has the best chance of avoiding exposure since the puppy vaccines that they were given will not be likely to give full protection for most of their adult years.
Leptospirosis is a Serious Condition
If your dog has not yet been vaccinated for Lepto, you should talk with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a good candidate for this vaccination. There are so many reasons that your dog needs to be protected from this health condition, and you and your family will be safer if your dog is vaccinated as well. Being sure that your dog will not get a serious and life-threatening illness is important, and preventing your family from contracting this illness from your dog is also a good reason to get your dog vaccinated.
Make sure that you talk to your vet about the vaccine if your pet has had an allergic reaction to it in the past. There are often options for dogs that are sensitive to the vaccine so that they can be protected from Lepto. The more proactive you are about vaccines, the more likely your dog will be to have a happy and healthy life. Don’t leave Leptospirosis vaccines off your list of essential vaccines that your dog should be getting every year.
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About Mendocino Animal Hospital
At Mendocino Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering the human-animal bond with excellent veterinary medicine. Our full-service veterinary practice operates in Ukiah, CA with a team of skilled veterinarians and a passionate, talented support staff who make you feel like a part of the family.
As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, every service and aspect of our practice meets AAHA’s Standards of Excellence. No matter what your pet comes in for, they’ll receive only the best in care, compassion, and service.