Leptospirosis Vaccine Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff

Leptospirosis, otherwise known as Lepto, is a spiral-shaped bacteria that is often associated with standing water, and the theory among medical professionals is that wildlife, such as raccoon, can carry this sort of bacteria in their urine, and when they urinate in the water, this bacteria could penetrate your dog’s skin, acquiring the bacteria, whether he or she is swimming, jumping and/or drinking the said water.

Sadly, if your dog were to acquire Lepto, it could make your dog very sick and could even be fatal if left untreated, with treatment consisting of IV fluids and multiple days inside of a hospital on antibiotics, according to VetChick.com.

Leptospirosis Vaccine Cost
IMG_6173.JPG” (CC BY 2.0) by abcrumley

The cost of the leptospirosis vaccine for dogs

The cost of the leptospirosis vaccine on its own can cost about $20 to $30 in total, while a veterinarian office exam fee, depending on your vet and geographical location, can add another $35 to $65 to this total, effectively bringing the grand total to $55 to $95 if performed inside of your vet’s office.

At the Arizona Humane Society, for instance, the Leptospirosis vaccine is $21 and the office exam fee is another $30 per pet, bringing the total to $51, while the Humane Society of Southern Arizona charges $13 per vaccination.

Leptospirosis vaccination schedule

For puppies, the first vaccine is administered at 12 weeks and is repeated two and four weeks later, according to VetStreet.com.

As for older puppies older than four months, adult puppies that receive the vaccination for the first time will receive two doses two to four weeks apart, depending on the vet’s recommendation.

An annual revaccination is highly recommended for any dogs at an increased risk of the leptospirosis-causing organism and does make it more effective.

Dogs at a higher-than-average risk should be vaccinated every six months.

Which dogs are at risk?

Technically, all dogs are said to be at risk as leptospira can be found around the globe.  However, because of how it is spread, dogs who spend their time around rural lakes, ponds, rivers or related bodies of water will be considered to be more susceptible than a dog that spends most of its time indoors.  As rural dogs are exposed to more wildlife than an indoor dog or one that roams the city, the chances of the water and surrounding soil could be much greater at risk due to the said animals and their urine.  In the end, leptospirosis has been found everywhere, whether it’s a rural area or city suburb.  Even if you think you’re safe in the city, remember there’s the chance of rates roaming which could put your dog at risk.

Leptospirosis vaccine side effects

The leptospirosis vaccine side effects, as per the VCA Hospitals, can include lethargy for a few days, loss of appetite, a shock-like reaction for some breeds and/or a skin rash, often on a hairless area.

Tips to know

Because this is considered a non-core vaccine, dog owners can decide as to whether they want the vaccine or not.  While it is recommended by some vets, some will not recommend it, so your results will vary.  However, seeing lepto is considered to be a zoonotic disease, this simply means it can affect humans as well if your dog were to contract it.

According to veterinarians, confirming this disease, if your dog were to have it, is extremely tough as there is really no known “good” Lepto test.  While tests do perform, the traditional test will only show exposure to the disease, meaning if your dog was exposed to the bacteria in the past and effectively fought it off, it could show a false positive in a sense.  While a newer test is on the market and is only available via select laboratories, known as the PCR, according to VetChick.com, it is only designed in a way to detect smaller amounts of Leptospirosis, but it can be rather pricey.

If you know your dog needs more than one vaccination, try to get as many administered at once to bring down the costs.  Some vets may even offer a vaccination package where you pay a flat fee for all of the vaccinations listed in the bundle. Since a vet’s office will always charge an office examination fee, regardless of which tests, vaccinations or lab work is done, it’s best to combine as much as possible to save on future examination costs.  At the Vetco Clinics, for instance, a “healthy dog/puppy” package, including a distemper/parvo combo, bordetella, lepto and round/hook dewormer, will cost $69.  On its own, the vaccination will cost $35.

To prevent lepto, while not guaranteed, you should be prepared to protect your dog from any standing water, a puddle of water and any public lakes, rivers, streams or bodies of water.  While this could be hard for a dog accustomed to an outdoor lifestyle, precautions, as a dog owner, must be made to limit your chances.

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