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Update on Leptospirosis - Spring/Summer 2011

Due to the increasing incidence of Leptospirosis infections that we are seeing at our clinic, Bay Cities Animal Hospital is now recommending that all dogs be vaccinated for Leptospirosis as part of their annual vaccine schedule. 

Leptospirosis is a serious disease that can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated promptly.  In our region, most dogs would be considered as "at risk" for infection.   Dogs are considered to be at risk if:

  • they live in an urban environment where they may be exposed to rodents or rodent urine
  • they are allowed to roam in rural fields, woodlands, suburban parks, or new housing developments where wildlife such as deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, and other animals may be present
  • they have access to wetland areas such as swamps, marshes, streams, lakes, rivers, drainage ditches, or sources of slow-moving or stagnant water
  • they live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall or frequent flooding

When choosing whether to vaccinate a pet against disease, our clinic always considers the risk of infection versus the risk of vaccination side effects.  The newer leptospirosis vaccines that our clinic uses are generally safe and well tolerated.  Our veterinarians believe that the risk of disease for leptospirosis is increasing, and we want to ensure that our dogs are safely vaccinated. 

Please be sure to read the fact sheet on Leptospirosis on our website for further information regarding this dangerous infection.