Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial infection spread by rats, often through contaminated water. It is an extremely serious problem and is often fatal to dogs.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira interrogans. It exists under several stems and is spread all over the world. It looks like a thin, spiral-shaped germ (hence the name) with a hook at the top. This disease is especially dangerous to dogs because it can cause severe kidney failure, in some cases leading to death within a few days. For this reason, Leptospirosis is one of those diseases for which it is highly recommended to vaccinate your dog every year.
How much does the leptospirosis vaccine for dogs cost?
You should be prepared to pay the veterinarian’s office exam fee which would be anywhere between $40 and $70, depending on the geographical location and the vet, plus another $25 to $35 for the vaccine itself. This will result in a grand total of $65 to $105 if the vaccine is done at a doctor’s office.
For example, if you take your dog to the Arizona Humane Society you will have to pay around $35 for the office exam fee and $26 for the Leptospirosis vaccine, bringing the expense to a grand total of $61.
On the other hand, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona charges only around $16 per vaccination.
What are the symptoms of leptospirosis?
Clinical signs range from mild subclinical infections to multiple organ failure and death. In fact, acute kidney damage has been the most common manifestation of canine leptospirosis in recent years. Dogs with leptospirosis may show the following clinical signs:
- Nasal discharge;
- Fever and disease;
- Painful muscles and a reluctance to move;
- Red spots on the gums;
- Loss of appetite;
- Swelling of the lymph nodes;
What should I do if I have reasons to believe that my puppy is suffering from leptospirosis?
If your puppy has any of the symptoms of leptospirosis, you should consult a veterinarian immediately. This is because this virus is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between different species, including humans and other animals. Individuals who are suspected of having leptospirosis should be treated with caution. It is always recommended to wear protective gloves.
Your veterinarian will need a detailed history of your puppy’s health and lifestyle. He will perform a series of tests, including blood tests and urine tests, to determine if the dog has contracted leptospirosis and will recommend the best treatment.
Regardless of the likelihood that your pet will come into contact with certain diseases, you should always make sure that he or she has been given the full mandatory vaccination schedule and that you talk to your veterinarian about his or her lifestyle and recommended vaccines.
Leptospirosis vaccination schedule
Leptospirosis can be prevented by vaccination; therefore, it is important to make sure that your puppy receives the necessary vaccinations at the right age.
Vaccinations are most effective when performed on a fixed date and are followed by boosters. Generally, puppies begin their vaccination schedule at the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Leptospirosis vaccination will most often be given at 11-13 weeks, with a booster at 15-17 weeks.
Your puppy will be considered vaccinated against leptospirosis only after the second set of injections.
Annual vaccination is recommended for dogs at risk.
Which dogs are at increased risk of developing leptospirosis?
High-risk dogs include:
- Dogs that walk or swim in and or near natural water;
- Hunting dogs;
- Dogs that are frequently exposed to flooded areas;
- Dogs that live in rural areas where they may encounter wild animals or wild animals’ urine.
Will vaccination always protect my dog from leptospirosis?
In some diseases, including leptospirosis, a large number of pathogens are involved in the disease. Vaccination protects against the pathogens considered to be the most important, but not all.
After vaccination, your puppy may continue to develop the disease if it comes in contact with different strains, against which the vaccine has no effect. Annual booster injections should be given to ensure that the pet is immunized against any new, predominant strains.
Important things to consider
Leptospirosis comes from bacteria transmitted through rodent urine, which can then be transmitted to humans and certain animals, including dogs (zoonotic disease). It is most commonly found in humid environments and can be found in swampy or muddy areas. Dogs will most often come in contact with leptospirosis through infected water when they swim, drink, or just pass through the water.
While the leptospirosis vaccine is not currently a necessary immunization for dogs, it is highly recommended for any dog that walks out regularly.
To reduce the risk of leptospirosis transmission, it is highly recommended that you do not allow your dog to drink water from potentially polluted sources. However, the best precautionary method is vaccination.
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