Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection of the liver and kidneys spread by the urine of dogs, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and rodents. It is contracted by ingesting water contaminated with such urine. Humans can contract leptospirosis, as well, if they come in contact with the urine of an infected animal.

The leptospirosis vaccine has gotten a bad wrap over the years. Many breeders will tell you that their beloved breed is “especially sensitive” to the leptospirosis vaccine. Old ways of producing that vaccine led to some truth of that. Today’s leptospirosis vaccine is exceedingly safe. Any animal can be allergic to anything, including the leptospirosis vaccine. That being said, leptospirosis is deadly, contagious to humans, and present in the upstate of South Carolina.

You don’t have to go out in the woods or live on a farm to be at risk, either. Mice and rats can spread leptospirosis into rainwater puddles that dogs taste or lick off of their feet. A common first symptom of leptospirosis in dogs is increased and inappropriate urination which owner clean up, thereby exposing themselves.

For this reason, leptospirosis vaccines are given annually to all canine patients at Pet’s Favorite Vet unless contraindicated by individual or owner request. The veterinary oath requires us to protect the health of you and your pets, and it’s a job we take seriously.