In an effort to provide our clients with the highest level of care, we have been monitoring diseases that our canine patients may be considered to have an increased risk of contracting. To do this, we closely follow several organizations with ability to tract diseases including the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). One of the diseases of particularly high concern at this point is Leptospirosis. This disease has been a growing concern for companion animals (pets), cattle, wildlife and humans alike. There are several concerns about this disease. Initially, the largest concern would be that this is a zoonotic disease, meaning that the bacteria can be passed from animals to humans. In most cases the bacteria infects the kidneys; however, it can also establish infection in other locations such as the liver. Symptoms of the disease can be varied and may range from lethargy (seeming depressed/sleepy) to complete kidney and/or liver failure.
– The bacteria is passed from the urine of wildlife (opossums, skunks, raccoons, foxes, rats, and even squirrels).
– The bacteria can be present in stagnant (standing) water, damp soil and other places in the environment. Depending on climate, the bacteria may also be stable in the environment for extended periods of time.
– Dogs and humans can be at risk of infection if they come in contact with the urine of infected animals or contaminated water. Pets are at particularly high risk because of nose/mouth to ground contact.
– Confirmed cases have occurred in our area
– Leptospirosis can be difficult to diagnose and infected individuals often exhibit symptoms of other diseases.
– The infection is preventable in pets through a vaccination.
Tipp City Veterinary Hospital patients have all received the Leptospirosis vaccine as part of our ‘core vaccinations’ that are given annually. If you receive your vaccines from another clinic, please speak with your veterinarian about the Leptospirosis vaccine. The initial vaccination will be given as a series of two doses, three weeks apart and then yearly after that time.
We have decided to start requiring all dogs staying in our facility to be vaccinated forLeptospirosis given the increased risk of this disease and the potential of our canine patients to come in contact with wildlife even in backyards, parks, leash walks, etc. We do feel that the increased risk associated with Leptospirosis warrants making this a required vaccine for all dogs. This new policy will take effect on June 1, 2015