Leptospirosis in PA/Training/Crate Issues-Help pleasantly requested :)

I have been getting mixed messages about the Leptospirosis vaccine. I live in Eastern PA and my Vet reccomended it, but I have read that sometimes corgi's have had baaaad reactions to it. I would like to take django to the lake and such places where there are bacteria, which I read sometimes helps build the dog's tolerance and immunity. But I have also read that if your dog gets Lepto it can get really bad, and be passed to humans. Any advice?

Does anyone know of a good trainer near the Boyertown/Oley/Fleetwood/Reading/Pottstown area? I have researched PetSmart and the Allentown Dog Training Club as well as Cold Nose Lodge thusfar.

Django is now sleeping in his travel crate, which he can stand and turn around in comfortably. I would like to buy him a bigger crate but am not sure which size to get as the one on the petco site-which is now on sale pretty cheap-is pictured with a corgi but says up to 25 lbs. I just don't want it to be too small since the point is to give him more room, nor do I want it too big because of poo issues.

ALSO, I put a blanket down with him to sleep on that he had been laying on when I let him out to play in his room. Once transferred to the crate though, he pooed on it. When I took it out, no more accidents in the crate! I'm leary of adding anything soft for fear that he will either eat it or poo on it. I tried a piece of cut berber rug last night but he just focused on clawing at it and biting the edges even though he had his own toys in there. So, I removed it. Maybe once I get the metal crate this wont be an issue?

AND last but not least, the past 2 days I have taken Django out right after feeding, per usual. But he will only pee outside.  Then after I bring him in and go upstairs to shower, I come down to find a big tootsie roll pretzel on my floor. I can crate him when I shower, I just prefer that he has that time to play before I have to crate him when I go to work. I have tried leaving a piece of his poo outside and walking him near it, but he hasn't gone. This wasn't an issue until 2 days ago, and the only difference I can see is that he has started eating frozen peas as a snack....HELP! :)

THANK YOU! :)

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We live near you and we vaccinate.   The problem with lepto is it's a bacteria, and they evolve all the time AND vaccines against them are short-lived (you may have seen the many recent news stories about the problems with the human whooping cough vaccine, which is also for a bacteria).  Viral vaccines tend to be very effective and long-lived, bacterial vaccines are less effective and short-lived.

There are also many different strains of lepto.   The old vaccine was against a strain which is no longer prevalent (partly due to vaccinating pets).   

The newer four-way vaccine has a lower incidence of side-effects, and is against strains that are more common (at least right now; that may change again).   It is not 100% effective against even the strains it protects against, and it lasts not quite a full year.  It's also a life-style vaccine; city pets walked on sidewalks probably don't ever need it.

Our dogs, however, are in the woods on a regular basis.  One of them rarely drinks from streams but she swims and gets drenched from ear to toe.  The other is, as far as I can tell, genetically incapable of entering even ankle-deep water without opening his mouth and skimming along the surface; he's done this since he's a pup, whether he's thirsty or not. 


Lepto can and does kill healthy adult dogs, and can be spread to people.  For all those reasons, we vaccinate in spite of the downsides.  We do it in the spring, when we go in for kennel cough, to maximize protection in the summer months.  That's when we do the Lyme vaccine too.

I did a lot of reading online because there is so much anti-vaccination info out there, and I read info put out by the major vet hospitals and groups, and am comfortable with my decision.  Corgis are not especially at high risk for vaccine reactions, and mine never have a problem.

Oh, and get a 36 inch crate with a divider panel and the crate will outlive the dog.  We use metal crates with a plastic tray in the bottom.  Don't give him bedding til he shows he's trustworthy with it.  Try a single towel folded in half; that has always worked for us and is easy to wash (with bleach if needs be).    A short walk might help move things along to get him pooping outside.  If he does not, back in his crate for 15 minutes and then try again.  No freedom til he potties (assuming it's a time when he has to go).  It seems harsh but it will actually earn him more freedom sooner.  We've all been there.  :) 

Good luck!

Thank you so much Beth! I was leaning toward the lepto shot because of those very reasons. So glad to hear that you didn't experience any negative reactions. 36" it is. Any trainer referrals? :)

I'm an hour or two from you, so probably you would not want to drive this far for training.  :-)

Gotcha. Thanks again!!

All dogs used to get Leptospirosis in the combo vaccination. It was listed as the DHLPP, when the company first split the vaccines (DHPP and Lepto separate) the adjuvant used (the liquid portion of the vaccine that helps stimulate an immune response) caused a lot of reactions. The vaccine has now been separate for several years and they have changed the adjuvant used. Dogs are no more likely now to have a vaccine reaction to the lepto vaccine as they are to any other. In fact I see more reactions to the DHPP vaccine and the injectable bordetella vaccine than I do to lepto.

Lepto is transmitted in the urine of wildlife, primarily squirrels and oppossums and rats. What this means is, if you have a backyard, your dog is exposed in areas that lepto is an issue. Lepto can be fatal and it is a human health risk. I have seen young healthy dogs die of the disease and because it is contagious to humans hospitalization for the disease requires strict isolation standards which means on top of your already large 5-7 day hospital stay, your dog will be completely isolated with limited human contact, and there will generally be a hefty isolation fee on top of the other fees. To me it is not worth the risk. If you read on the internet you will always read all the bad bad bad, nobody bothers to write a post about how their dog got the lepto vaccine and nothing happened. If your vet recommends it (and you aren't going to a corporate hospital like Banfield or VCA) I would do it. I mention the corporate hospitals because they will recommend every vaccine known to man even if it doesn't do anything and your pet has no exposure (i.e. the giardia vaccine or influenza vaccine in western states).

I also have to add that lepto is on the rise. There is so much misinformation out there on the internet and many small dog "breeders" are telling buyers not to vaccinate for lepto that now the disease is actually becoming much more frequent than it used to be. Its a common trend we see in vet medicine and unfortunately results in our pets suffering due to our uninformed decisions. If you are unsure, talk to other vets in the area, a great resource is a veterinary teaching hospital. They will (or won't) recommend vaccines based on actual risk. For example, at this point and time UC Davis does not recommend giving the rattlesnake vaccine due to high risk of reaction and poor proven effect, however they do recommend lepto because they frequently treat for the disease in my area.

Wow thanks for the insight!!! Interesting that you mention Giardia. Django is 2 days from finishing medication because the week I brought him home he had that. Seemed completely normal otherwise, he just had blood in his stool. Poor guy. I'm going to call around for pricing for the Lepto shot.  Definitely looks like we need it. My vet quoted me $70. Just seems a bit steep for something that may not last a full year, but, if that's what it is, so be it.  Better that than adding vet bills, medication and possible human doctor bills into the mix! Thank you so much :)

Oh my goodness, ours was $10!!!   Lyme is around $25, but Lepto only $10....

I've done research in the area and one vet doesn't give lepto at all, one only includes it w/ distemper which he already has, one was closed, mine was actually $20, plus they were going to charge me an office visit fee on top of that! So, Banfield through PetSmart is $15, plus an office visit which I found a coupon for online.  First visit free.  But, my local PetSmart doesn't accept the coupons. The one that does is a little over half an hour away. Still worth it. Phew! It's a lot of work to get a good deal with vaccinations... ;)

Scratch that.  After digging deeper, all of them also require 2 boosters....soooo, add 2 office visits and 2 more lepto shot fees, and I'm looking at @ $200. Envious of your $10 deal....!!!! How can they do this? Just asked my vet to speak to the Dr. and see if a nurse might administer the shot and/or boosters because I was told by a friend that it lowers the office visit fee--again, none of which I was told at the vet. I am learning that dealing with vets is like dealing with mechanics. No up front payment explainations, no real governing body and therefore no recourse for issues. Django better be extra good tonight!!! hahaha

Wow! $70 for the vaccine!? I work at an emergency clinic so some of our prices tend to be a bit higher than other clinics and we charge $26 and if the pet has had an exam in the last year then no office visit needed.

Try looking into vaccine clinics or a local animal control on animal shelter. VPI (or VIP I can never remember lol) does vaccine clinics and you can look up online where they will be. Lepto does need to be boostered but it will only be 2 shots total, so 1 vaccine, then a booster 3 to 4 weeks later and then its good for a year.

Also, your vet isn't giving me much faith. They should always provide you with an estimate for fees and a clear explination for why those fees are being charged. They should also never try to push you into doing stuff that you don't want to do without any clear reason for WHY they are recommending it. It may be worth looking around and trying out a different vet. Not all vets are created equal, but there are excellent vets out there who truly do have your pet's best interest in mind.

Here in PA, vet techs can give all shots except rabies, which must be given by a vet.

My vet will allow you to go in to see a tech if you only need a shot.  There is a $5 fee per dog for the tech visit (not $5 per shot, but per dog, so if each dog gets 2 shots you would be charged $5 total for each dog plus the price of the vaccines).

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