Should You be Alarmed by the Leptospirosis Vaccine’s 10 Side Effects?

While it is true that leptospirosis could kill your dog, this disease is quite rare in the United States. Therefore, there may be cases where you don’t have to give your dogs the leptospirosis vaccine. 

What Is Lepto? 

Lepto in dogs can be transmitted to humansLepto, short for leptospirosis, is a bacterial infection caused by leptospira. This is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can transfer from animals to people. Even though zoonotic illnesses are uncommon, exposure to them increases your risk.  

Contact with infected bodily fluids is the main means of transmission. 

This disease can affect dogs of any age, breed, or sex. Thus, veterinarians don’t rule out a diagnosis based on behavior or way of life. For example, large-breed dogs, male dogs, or dogs that spend most of their time outside are not the only canines that can contract canine leptospirosis.  

Leptospira bacteria can be found in contaminated water. Dogs usually become infected after drinking, swimming, or simply walking through water. 

Is the Leptospirosis Vaccine a Core Vaccine? 

Core vaccines are shots the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends every pet owner consider.  

Leptospirosis vaccineAccording to AVMA, leptospirosis is not rampant enough to be administered to every single animal. Consequently, lepto is not a core vaccine

Leptospirosis vaccines are not highly recommended unless there is ample need for your dear pooch to get the shots. Meaning, there is a considerable chance your dog may be exposed to the bacteria. 


What Are the Side Effects of the Leptospirosis Vaccine in Dogs? 

The leptospirosis vaccine for dogs can result in side effects! Depending on your dog’s immune system and its health pre-injection, side effects can range from severe to minor to almost non-existent.  

Weak dog suffering from lepto vaccine side effects

Here are the things you need to watch out for if you choose to give your pup leptospirosis vaccines: 

  • Allergic reactions 
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Swollen face 
  • Abnormally puffy eyes      
  • Swelling in the injection area 
  • Bumps all over the body (hives) 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Collapse 

Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, the leptospirosis vaccine may cause lasting harm to your pet. It’s important to address any reactions promptly with your vet to prevent lasting harm.  

When Is the Leptospirosis Vaccine Unnecessary? 

Leptospirosis vaccines frequently come with side effects. In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, common responses include anaphylaxis, which can result in shock or death, and major immune-mediated illnesses, which can show up as bleeding problems.  

Additionally, the leptospirosis vaccine does not ensure your dog won’t develop the illness. For this reason, before deciding to vaccinate your dog, you must balance the danger of exposure to the disease in your location against the chance of a negative vaccination reaction.  

woman sitting on the floor and dog sitting on the couchYou must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each vaccine before making a choice. Before giving your dog any vaccine, carefully weigh ALL risks. 

Although leptospirosis is a dangerous illness, it’s crucial to maintain your composure! 

The leptospirosis vaccine is not necessary when the danger outweighs the benefit. Your veterinarian can help you determine whether leptospirosis is a problem in your area.  In the interim, promote a healthy lifestyle for your dog to support a robust immune system.  

If your dog exhibits any symptoms of sickness, have your vet examine him.  

If you’re interested in getting a Leptospirosis vaccine or discussing your dog’s risk factors with Dr. Smith, set up an appointment today


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