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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:23 PM
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dogcatharmony dogcatharmony is offline
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Lepto...very close to my house.

I was reading our news site for my city and apparently there have been 3 dogs that have died due to lepto within a mile/two mile radius to where I am. It's a more rural area just a few minutes from my place. I am kinda boonies.....just down the road is considered the sticks. (slang for rural....just incase no one knew what I was talking about)

I have been going through old threads and now I have just confused myself a bit more on whether or not to vaccinate or not. From the info on our news site, it does not say what strain of lepto....so I don't even know if the vac would cover what is going around.

The vets have said that contrary to belief that the new vaccine does not have the risk of side effects like the old one, but reading the old threads from Feb of last year I did see some people's dogs had bad reactions.

And my knowledge of Lepto is sparse. I was under the impression that dogs only picked it up from stagnant water. Then I find out that critter like squirrel and raccoons carry it....got lots of those around. How do dogs get Lepto in the winter time? That I haven't been able to come across. My dog is a snow eater on our walks.....I guess I should stop that right now.

I just wanted some input, a little more education on the fact. I know in the end it is my say....but from what I have read so far it sounds a little on the risky side
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Last edited by dogcatharmony; December 22nd, 2008 at 04:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:28 PM
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As far as I know, lepto is carried in the urine of animals like raccoons, so it can get into puddles, still water, (yellow snow?). We choose to vaccinate for lepto because our puppers take most of their walks in woodlots and eat/are into everything.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:32 PM
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okay from the urine......I was thinking just in the snow. Zoe doesn't do yellow snow.....but she does sniff it sometimes. I read that it can be contracted through the eyes, nose and mouth. Can they get it through the feet?? or just a mucus membrane? I just have a pair of foxes that inhabit my yard over winter.......but I do have raccoons in the summer.

Is it just small dogs that have a problem with the new vaccine.....or do some larger dogs, (mine is 60lbs) have bad reactions also?
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:35 PM
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I THINK it has to be ingested...gotta be something good on google...

oh, here: (from http://www.labbies.com/lepto.htm)

Modes of Disease Transmission. Leptospira thrive in spring and autumn when wet soil conditions and moderate temperatures support their otherwise poor environmental survivability. Infection by contact with infected urine or ingestion of urine-contaminated water is the most common means of transmission of the disease. Less common modes of infection include transmittance of the organisms during breeding, gestation, or through the membranes of the eyes, abrasions or bite wounds, or ingestion of the flesh from infected animals such as rats, raccoons, skunks or opossums. A serovar infects the dog as a maintenance host, using the dog to carry out most, if not all of the organism's life cycle. Under these conditions, the kidneys of the infected dog become the "breeding" grounds for the serovar, some of which will be shed in the urine where they may gain access to other dogs and continue the infectious cycle.
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Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:38 PM
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DCH,I would do the least of 2 evils,which is to vaccinate,seeing Lepto is a killer
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:44 PM
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hmmmm abrasions....would banged up snow feet quailfy for abrasions? Maybe I will stop our run in the woods for the next little while. She boogies off into the bush, so I can't see what exactly she is running in. In the summer she sticks to the path, but snow....she is off and running.

Scary when you really think about it.....but aparently around here there hasn't been a Lepto outbreak in a long time. Many dog owner's....myself included only know a bit about it. Our Algoma Health Unit hasn't said anything so far about it, but the thought of 3 dogs right near me dying from it has me a little concerned.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Chico2, see that is what had me on the fence is reading old threads. Some people live in an area that has lepto quite frequently and dont' vaccinate because of the vacc not covering all types, or the possible reactions to the vacc itself. I kinda spooked myself either way
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Hazel must be the authoritay on this dogcatharmony, for sure when she logs on you will hear from her. She has dealt with it quite often, I think she is dealing with it now.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Thanks for sending me the link, Chris.

Yes, DCH, we are unfortunately dealing with leptospirosis again this fall.

Yes, dogs can catch it from tainted water...rodent urine is a prime source of it, as is urine from coons and other varmints. We have so much wildlife that it's hard to tell what the Pack is catching it from, although I suspect that once one dog is infected, they begin passing it to each other through their urine (you know how dogs are always sniffing each other's puddles. )

Anyway, on to the vaccination question. We have been vaccinating. We started out once a year, then after last year's outbreak (all 8 were treated) we stepped it up to every 6 months. The reason for that is that the current vaccine apparently offers peak protection until 6 months, then the antibody titers begin to fall. We tried a 6-month schedule to try to circumvent that loss of protection.

It didn't work. The good news is, none of our dogs has ever had a problem with or reaction to the vaccination--they range in size from 33 pounds to 65 pounds.

We're still investigating whether this latest outbreak is of lepto strains that are actually included in the vaccine--I believe the vaccination protects against 6 of the 8 strains most commonly tested for. And we suspect that the two strains for which Cole had a very high titer were the two that aren't included in the vaccine.

So...we have the same dilemma. Vaccinate, or drop it because it's not doing the job...or maybe just go back to once a year. The only reason to do it is that our outbreaks are quite mild despite the fact that lepto can be a killer. Although one of the main symptoms we see is increased urination, to date we've not had any permanent kidney damage. Was that because the vaccine offered enough protection to at least aid the body in fighting it, even if it couldn't kick the organism completely? Hard to say... Titers of antibodies have been consistently high for the strains included in the vaccine--but we suspect that they are exposed enough in the yard that their titers will remain high even without vaccination... We daydream that they will remain high enough to offer protection Not sure if that's a good assumption or not! It's something that we have to talk over with the vets at the clinic.

In your case it would be nice to know which serovars were responsible for the cases that resulted in death...also, if the affected dogs were vaccinated. Watch for symptoms--increased water intake and urination seem to be the most common, but anything out of the ordinary should be investigated. Titers, although pricey, are pretty effective in detecting infection in unvaccinated dogs--and I suspect your area vets are going to be watching for anything that looks like lepto and check titers. The problem with titers is that it takes fairly long to get results--Ms Macie's titer was taken a week ago Saturday and we still haven't heard the results.

Not sure if this novel helped you in your decision, but feel free to PM me if you have questions.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Thanks a bunch Hazel. The article just said three young dogs, didn't give any more info. I am hoping that the Health unit says something about which strain it was....that would help many of us with dogs in this area. I will call the vet tomorrow anyways and talk with him and see what he thinks. I imagine that there has been an influx of people seeking the same info I am after hearing the news. I checked Zoe's vacc papers, she was just done at the end of Nov and there was no lepto on the records.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 05:37 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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because of my dogs death (look it up in the vet medical journal) bayer of canada now makes the lepto vacine in canada and it now covers all 6 strains instead of the 5 it use to 3 yrs ago. Lepto causes a terrible death, we struggled with it for 9 months and spent thousands of dollars. If caught in time they can be cured.......we weren't so lucky, if anyone wants to know more...email me
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