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Lepto Vaccination Protocol


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Renee and I have recently discussed our vaccination protocol and an issue with lepto arose. We have not found a source of lepto only vaccine with a small enough number of doses to follow the recommended annual vaccination protocol and follow the triennial vaccination protocol for the core vaccines. Does anyone know of a lepto vaccine source? How does everyone handle this issue.

 

I have included some recent Vet Med info on Lepto for this discussion.

 

Mark

 

Leptospira spp. bacterins are serovar-specific. For over two decades, typical bacterins were designed to protect dogs from L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae. However, these products did not provide protection from infection by other serovars. In recent years, documented infection of dogs with L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae has been quite rare, but infection with serovars L. gryppotyphosa, L. pomona, and L. bratislava has increased in frequency.3 The prominence of these latter serovars stems from the use of vaccination and the greater exposure of unnatural hosts such as dogs to wildlife reservoir hosts in rural or suburban environments.1 For this reason, pharmaceutical manufacturers have developed newer vaccines designed to protect against infection with L. gryppotyphosa and L. pomona.3

 

Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture has not licensed any vaccine containing the serovar L. bratislava. As with most bacterins, immunity is not as long lasting as is immunity to viral antigens. Yearly boosters are recommended for at risk dogs, and immunity may not even last a complete year. Although leptospiral vaccines have historically been incriminated in more adverse vaccine reactions than other commonly used vaccines, the newer and "cleaner" subunit vaccines have lead to a reduction in the number of these adverse reactions.3

 

References

 

1. Greene CE (ed): Infectious Disease of the Dog and Cat, 2nd ed. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1998, pp. 273?281.

 

2. Ward MP: Seasonality of canine leptospirosis in the United States and Canada and its association with rainfall. J Prev Vet Med 56:203-213, 2002.

 

3. Cohn LA: Leptospirosis. Proc Ann Meeting of Am Vet Med Assoc, 2003.

 

4. Langston CE: Leptospirosis. Proc Ann Meeting of Am Vet Med Assoc, 2002.

 

5. Nelson RW, Couto CG (eds): Small Animal Internal Medicine, 3rd ed. Mosby Publishing, St. Louis, 2003.

 

6. Wohl JS: Canine leptospirosis. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 18:1215-1225 & 1241, 1996.

 

7. Avdeeva MG: Hematological parameters in characterization of anemia in leptospirosis. Klin Lab Diagn 5:8-12, 2001.

 

8.Levett, PN: Leptospirosis. J Clin Microbiol Rev 14:296-326, 2001.

 

9. Jones CJ, Hunt RD, King NV (eds): Veterinary Pathology, 6th ed. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1997, pp. 467-471.

 

10. Leptospirosis Reference Laboratory, KIT Biomedical Research, Netherlands

 

source: An Overview of Canine Leptospirosis by Richard Noel, DVM; Kenneth S. Latimer, DVM, PhD

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I've heard of problems with that other variety down south (LA and TX). I'm not sure what they do about this problem down there.

 

Lepto is a really scary disease. I remember a James HErriot story about a dog with lepto and how awful the dog's death was.

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Julie,

 

I know the single vaccine is available; a vet gave Gyp & Rae their lepto separate for one of their puppy shots after they reacted to their first combo.

 

 

This is an interesting problem; how does one vaccinate against bacteria every year while vaccinating against viruses every 3 years?

 

Mark

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I don't vaccinate my puppies for lepto anymore. Lepto has a very high rate of reaction when given to puppies and can cause seizures. Strains in the vaccine are not the current strains being seen and the vaccine only covers 2 of the 7 strains. My vet has only seen two cases of lepto in the past ten years, therefore, the risk doesn't warrent the protection.

 

Once my dogs reach 3 years of age, I do not vaccinate them every year for DHPP. I vaccinate every three years for that and rabies. I think it is overkill to vaccinate adult dogs every year after their titers are high enough.

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That's a tough one. I won't vaccinate for Lepto, period. There are too many problems with the vaccine (A friend's dog developed Lupus as a result of the vaccine) and too many "if" factors ... some recommendations are that the Lepto vaccine should be administered every SIX MONTHS because they feel it doesn't last even as long as a year.

 

One of my dogs got Lepto more than a year ago. He tested positive for 3 strains of Lepto, 2 of which were not covered by the vaccine currently available in Canada. He pulled through just fine, and neither myself nor my other dogs caught it despite being vaccine free.

 

I don't vaccinate my dogs at all past puppy vaccines and as rabies is not required by law here, we don't vaccinate for that either.

 

Lepto cases have remained static in my area since the 1970's. Approximately the same number of dogs get Lepto every year, and there appears to be no rhyme or reason or pattern to it. Many of them are vaccinated for it and get it anyway. No humans have been reported with Lepto since the 1960s I believe.

 

RDM

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I had posted about this and an outbreak in my area. It seems to be the general consenses that the vaccine is pointless? My vet said this is the time of year the symptoms come not when it's transmitted. I'm pretty new at this, so I'm always doing reasearch and asking questions. I don't want to waste $80 if I don't have to ($38.50 for each shot 2 weeks apart) but I want Tiga to be safe so I'm certainly willing to if it's going to prevent him getting sick or dying. There have been a few deaths here recently and that's why I'm all in a panic about it. Tiga is about 9 months (he's a rescue so his exact age is a bit of a mystery) so it seems it's more dangerous to give the vacination to puppies? Wow certainly is a lot to think about.

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I've never had my puppies vaccinated for lepto, but yesterday I reluctantly got a lepto vaccine for one of my adult dogs. I'm seeing a new vet, and she asked me about it for the dog that was having his annual exam. I'm not so much worried about my dogs getting it, but if my dogs get it, I could get it, too. I'm a transplant recipient, and I shouldn't take that chance. It's the Duramune vaccine that lasts for a year, and the cost was $14.65. Before my next dog is due an annual exam, I'm going to learn all I can about this.

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I wonder if the general consensus should be re-examined since the Duramune 4L vaccine is NEW. The consensus would have been based upon the old vaccines that had only 2 serovars instead of the new one with 4 serovars and based upon vaccines with full bacterium instead of the new vaccine with subunits (supposedly reducing reactions).

 

Mark (thinking out loud)

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Fergie had her yearly exam Monday. We did the blood titre; she is not getting the DHPP for the 3rd year in a row because her bloodwork indicates she still has plenty of antibodies.

 

Dr. Tankington did mention the current interest in vaccinating for lepto. But he also said that it was really moot unless Ferg was out where she'd be in contact with raccoon urine frequently. He's not enthusiastic abot vaccinating but wanted me to know the new concern. We decided that Ferg did not need to take the risk of the vaccination with such a low risk of infection.

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What we have here at work is the Merial Recombitek vaccines, DHLPP but the L (lepto) is the dilutant, so if you want to avoid the L., you just dilute with saline. Reversely, if you want to just vaccinate with Lepto, just inject the dilutant by itself.

 

We vaccinate with DHPP for folks who are anti- lepto, and some folks get it only in the last two puppy vaccines given.

 

Lepto is serious, we have seen a case here in Central Va., it is zoonotic. I did the only last two vaccines on my last pup.

 

We will see...I do only vaccinate my adults every three years, same as RAbies, which is a problem in our area.

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I have heard mention about wilderness and racoon urine as "possible", sources of Lepto. Will someone please expand on the the sources of Lepto, is it a bacteria, what are the symptoms that show with an infected dog/person....etc? I really do not know much about this, but I want to learn.

Thanks to these boards I have learned alot more than I have known in the past, about vaccines in general, and getting a titre instead of just automatically getting annual shots and I am very grateful for the info.I have never been big on vaccinations even for kids (although I did get them), but thank God, people are actually starting to question human and vet Dr's about these vaccinations.

With Phoenix only 6 1/2 mos. old, I really want to do better by him than all my past fur babies! Like someone else said, if it is necessary and will keep him "safe & healthy"....., sometimes the risk of the disease outweighs the risk of the vaccine, but I want to make an informed decision for my critters.

Thanks for any educational info you can share about Lepto or any of the vaccinations for that matter.

JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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Hi Mark,

 

Interesting points to consider here..

 

I too am thinking out loud so let me bounce this off you-

 

1. How long has lepto been offered in 7 way vaccines?

 

2. How long did we give those vaccines before we were cautioned against giving them to puppies? and then to adults?

 

I understand that the new vaccine is well, new but how extensive are the studies which determine that there is overall less adverse reaction?

 

I was told by my vet that giving lepto in my area is pointless because we don't have either of the 2 strains currently in the 7 way vaccines. We do have (I think he said 3 others) other strains of lepto but that the likelyhood of contracting it is something like playing the lottery.

 

Thanks for posting and making me think today:)

Annette

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Annette,

 

I've been trying to find a website (one I trust) that details the safety of the various types of vaccines (i.e. attenuated live, killed whole, killed subunit, and recombinant subunit). The older vaccines (in general) were based upon "attenuated live" or "killed whole" antigens (virus or bacterium) while the newer vaccines are being developed based upon killed subunit and recombinant subunit. What I have found so far, in general terms, is the "attenuated live" vaccines yielded the best immune response because the antigens were the exact organisms that caused the disease but were modified to prevent the vaccine from causing the disease. The risk with these is that the vaccine could change causing the disease upon vaccination. The "killed whole" vaccines were the exact organisms that causes the disease but dead; these vaccines were the ones that were most likely to cause adverse reactions (for example lepto) and they did not provide the best immune response. The subunit vaccines reduced the likely hood of adverse reactions while still providing the immune response since antibodies don't generally recognize the entire organism, but a portion of the surface of the organism (subunit); it's a size thing (organisms are much bigger than antibodies). The recombinant subunits are supposed to be the safest since the antigen in the vaccine never came from an organism but looks just like it; much like how aspirin no longer comes from tree bark but "looks" just like it.

 

This comes from Report of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature where MLV stands for modifed live virus. I'm still looking for this type and caliber of discussion about "subunit vaccines".

Immunological Factors Determining Vaccine Safety

Several characteristics of vaccines are integral to determin-ing product safety and efficacy, including the nature and dose of the antigen, the use of adjuvants, and the number of vaccinal components in any given product. Although increasing the number of components in a vaccine may be more convenient for the practitioner or owner, the likeli-hood for adverse effects may increase. Also, interference can occur among the components. Care must be taken not to administer a product containing too many vaccines simultaneously if adverse events are to be avoided and opti-mal immune responses are sought.

It is often stated that MLV vaccines are the most effica-cious but that killed vaccines are the safest products; how-ever, in light of advances in vaccine technology, this statement should be carefully re-examined.11,13,14 Presumably, killed vaccines are safest because they cannot cause the disease for which the vaccine was designed to prevent; however, killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease). If they fail to protect because of poor or no CMI or local humoral immunity, or because it takes much longer to pro-vide protection (e.g., the requirement for two doses of killed CPV-2 for protection), then they clearly are not ?safer.? Modified live virus vaccines can and do cause dis-ease because attenuation is a balance between maintaining infectivity while eliminating its pathogenicity. Individual response is dependent on the status of the recipient?s immune system. Thus, an attenuated pathogen in a host which is severely immunosuppressed, or genetically more susceptible, may result in the vaccine causing the disease for which it was designed to prevent. For example, an MLV canine distemper vaccine given to black-footed ferrets will induce clinical disease and death.17 Furthermore, in a small percentage (estimated 0.01%) of dogs, the MLV-CDV vac-cine may cause postvaccinal encephalitis.15,18

Mark
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Thanks Mark,

 

Please keep me posted with your research. We can all make good use of your 10 gallon brain- I'm pretty smart but just a 5 gallon brain only here:)

I did have one dog that had a few reactions to vaccines all her life but could not get a vet to confirm- her last and final illness was symptomatic of lepto and I kept her vaccinated. Her vet could do nothing for her where we were in NC. It awful to feel so helpless.

 

Annette

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Both Gyp and Rae both had reactions to a vaccine in the past. Gyp was very serious (convulsions,etc.). Both got very red, puffy faces. The vet initially thought it was a reaction to the lepto. part of the vaccine. It actually turned out to be a problem with a specific brand of vaccine. I always have to be careful when ordering shots for them to avoid this brand.

Renee

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