Lepto 2 and Lepto 4 Vaccination
To give you some background:
• The Lepto vaccination is the most controversial vaccination given!
• It is given to prevent an infection from Leptospira a corkscrew shaped bacterium, it’s not a virus like Parvo or Distemper. So unlike a viral vaccination, bacterin vaccines like lepto don’t prevent infection; they can only decrease the severity of symptoms.
• Lepto is NOT a core required vaccination unlike the one for DHP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus).
• Unlike many other vaccines, the bacterin vaccine can be shed in the environment, infecting your dog, other dogs, wildlife and you. So potentially you could catch Leptospirosis by vaccinating your dog!
• There are over 250 known variations of the bacteria (serovars) in existence, but Lepto 2 only covers 2 of them and Lepto 4 only covers 4 of them.
• Considering humans can get Lepto too, they are unable to make a safe vaccination for us.... but apparently they have for our dogs!
• Lepto is still very rare in the UK.
• Most cases of Lepto are seen in vaccinated dogs!
• In addition, you cannot actually test the efficiency of the vaccination, so you cannot test for immunity or efficiency like you can with other vaccines like DHP.
• Lepto is a totally treatable infection!
• A dog not vaccinated has ONE RISK: catching the disease. The vaccinated dog has TWO RISKS: catching the disease and damage from the vaccine.
• Vaccinating your dog can also destroy the kidneys in 48 hours and in some cases, cause untreatable dermatitis. The damage from the Lepto vaccination to your dog’s immune system also includes the associated risk of cancer from the chemicals in the vaccine (adjuvant), and the same adjuvant has been directly associated with a range of conditions including allergies, autoimmune problems, asthma, atopy, seizures, anaphylaxis and death.
Although Lepto 2 on paper is slightly less risky than Lepto 4 from the point of view of side effects - please do understand that for most reaction cases, and future health problems from vaccinations, these do not get reported and registered!
When our French Bulldog became life threateningly unwell - the manufacturer made us jump through hoops, eventually it seemed that the only way they would agree and confirm that it was a reaction to L4 was if our dog died and they would do a post-mortem! Luckily he didn't die and he did recover after 3 months of hell, but his reaction was not officially registered.
It was shocking that they wouldn't take any responsibility!
Questions to ask your vet:
• How many cases have they ever personally seen, and ask them how many of these dogs were actually vaccinated against Lepto.
• What strain of Lepto did these confirmed cases have - it may not have even been the most common serovars that the vaccination apparently covers.
• If you can't test the efficiency or how long lasting the vaccination is - then how do they know that your dog is even protected! If the vaccination doesn't cover the whole 12 months, and you can't test their immunity - then technically your dog is walking around "unprotected" for potentially months!
As you can see I am very passionate about this vaccination and I would strongly encourage you to not put your dog at risk for what, in my opinion, is a pure money making initiative by the drug companies and veterinary practices.