PROTECT YOUR DOG AGAINST LEPTOSPIROSIS!
The Doctors at Scotts Valley Vet are now recommending protecting your dog from Leptospirosis!
As of 2016, Leptospirosis ("Lepto") is considered to be one of the most common zoonotic (can affect both animals and humans) diseases worldwide. Because you share certain activities with your dog, this could put you and your family at risk of exposure. Cases of Lepto in canines have been increasing across the United States even here locally. Urban areas are at a higher risk due to an increased exposure to wildlife urine (raccoons, skunks, opossum, rodents, squirrels, deer, coyotes, marine mammals and pigs). This disease is transmitted through contact with the Leptospira bacteria through open wounds, and/or mucous membranes (such as the gums).
Dogs are the most common pet affected, and are considered a reservoir host for Lepto; any age, sex, or breed of dog is equally at risk. This bacterium commonly lives in both soil and water that has been contaminated by wildlife urine. Risk factors for dogs include swimming/drinking from rivers, lakes, puddles, swamps/streams; roaming on rural properties, exposure to wildlife, dead marine mammals on the beach, and contact with other dogs that may already be infected.
New, advanced vaccines for dogs effectively prevent against the four most common strains of Lepto. The vaccine helps provide protection against the clinical disease and prevents the bacteria from residing in the kidneys and being shed through urine. Through new purification technology, Lepto vaccines are shown to cause less side effects/vaccine site reactions than previous versions of the vaccine. This vaccine is beginning to be considered a core vaccine for all dogs, not just those with high risk of exposure. The initial vaccine is administered at 12 weeks of age or older, and a booster vaccine is recommended 2-4 weeks after that. Annual re-vaccination (every 12 months) is then recommended.
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