Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect the lungs, kidneys and liver. The disease is spread through the urine of other animals which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. The vaccine used at Wise Road Animal Hospital is a "four-way" vaccine, meaning that it helps guard against 4 different strains of Leptospirosis. Your pet may have been drinking, swimming, or walking through contaminated water. Because of increased building and development into areas that were previously rural, pets may be exposed to more wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, or deer that are infected with Leptospirosis. Dogs also may pass the disease to each other, but this happens very rarely.
Leptospirosis is zoonotic, it can be spread from our pets to ourselves or our family through direct or indirect contact with urine, blood, and tissues of your pet. Leptospirosis is one of our highly recommended vaccines because Chicago and it's suburbs have an abundance of open water sources which aid in transmission of this disease. Our protocol is to vaccine puppies at as early as 6 weeks of age, but more commonly at 9-12 weeks of age and administer one booster 3-4 weeks later. The Leptospirosis vaccine provides protection for 1 year and needs to be boostered annually.