The Importance Of Lepto For Your Dog, And Family

Lepto_Infographic  If your dog is a member of the Canine to Five pack, then you may be familiar with the Lepto vaccination (or at least our friendly reminders to have your dog’s Lepto vaccination updated), but do you know what it is? Do you know what risks your dog is exposed to without the vaccination? Did you know a dog with Leptospirosis can infect humans?

It’s one of the vaccinations we require for dogs in our daycare pack or boarding with us even though other facilities don’t because it’s such an important one. So to answer your questions, we chatted with Veterinarian, Dr. Glynes Graham of Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital in Detroit about Leptospirosis and the Lepto vaccine.

CANINE TO FIVE:  What is the Lepto vaccination and why is it important for our dogs, specifically in Michigan?

Dr. Graham: Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is carried by wildlife. Most pets that are exposed in Detroit are exposed by rat urine, though raccoons and opossums can also carry it, and are moving into the city in increasing numbers. Dogs that spend most of their time outdoors and are fed and watered outside are at a higher risk, but exposure happens to pets that drink out of puddles or ponds, chew grass that rats might have urinated on, or walk in damp areas and then lick their feet or fur. The vaccine provides protection from four different serovars – there are other serovars but these are the most common.

CTF: How often should a dog get a Lepto vaccination?

Dr. Graham: It is not a long acting vaccine and needs to be boosted yearly to keep protection high.

CTF:  What risks are there if dog owners decide not to keep their dogs up-to-date?

Dr. Graham: The primary risk to pets is kidney failure, though liver failure can occur, too. An affected pet can carry and infect an area that it is spending time in, and so put other pets at risk. Leptospirosis is also a risk to humans, and affected pets can share the disease with people through their urine. Leptospirosis is a reportable disease in Michigan, which means I have to report any case that I diagnose to the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

CTF: When looking into dog daycare and dog boarding facilities, should readers make sure Lepto is required of all dogs? Why or why not?

Dr. Graham: I wouldn’t board or daycare my pet at a place that doesn’t require the leptospirosis vaccine. For the same reason, I don’t take Sophie to public dog parks that don’t have a vaccine requirement – she has a high enough risk just from living in my neighborhood. I’ve diagnosed leptospirosis in neighborhood dogs before. It just makes sense to me that if I am going to protect Sophie from Lepto I want her friends to be protected, too!

A big thanks to Dr. Glynes Graham. Check her out at Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital in Detroit, and be sure to help educate other dog owners by sharing this post on Facebook or Google+.


Ferndale Dog Of The Day, Melissa C!

DSCF5681Name: Melissa C

Age: 1 year

Breed: Boxer

Daycare Buddies: Koda J, Ruby C and Mr. Marston.

Fun Fact: Melissa has been coming to CTF Ferndale for over a year now and every week she is super excited to be here. She has so many friends and is very well behaved. We also like her socks.

Detroit Dog of the Day, Bernie!

bernieName: Bernie

Age: 4 years

Breed: Beagle Mix

Daycare Buddies: Bagley, Wrigley, and Bailey

Fun Fact: Although it might appear that Bernie only hangs out with dogs that have names that end in an “ee”-sound, he has LOTS of friends! Bernie is one of our beagle/beagle mixes that love to have fun and cause a little mischief along the way :)

Ferndale Dog Of The Day is Gibson!

DSCF5339Name: Gibson

Breed:  Pit mix

Age:  3 years

Daycare Buddies: Ruby C, Sadie F, and Lily S.

Fun Facts: Gibson is very sweet. He is really good at playing with small dogs and puppies. He is constantly be found zooming around the room playing with everyone. Because of that, it is actually really hard to get a picture of him that isn’t blurry.

Detroit Dog of the Day, Ziggy!

DSCF3354Name: Ziggy

Age: ~ 9 months

Breed: Old English Sheepdog

Daycare Buddies: Agnes, Sixsmith and Max

Fun Fact: This guy might look like a real hulking dude, but he’s just a small fry with lots and lots of hair! Too bad he can’t join an 80’s metal band, amiright?!