Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA
Do any of you vaccinate for leptospirosis? Willow is due for a rabies vaccination and I asked the breeder if any of her havanese have ever had problems with vaccinations. She said she doesn't vaccinate for leptospirosis or bordetella. I have not been doing bordetella but am uncertain if leptospirosis would be appropriate. We do have wildlife around.
Oh, she also said that she did a DHLPP titer on Willow's littermates and they did not need another vaccination. The breeder said that most of the medications are good for the life of the dog. However, my vaccination certificate refers to the DHLPP as an annual booster. So, I'm confused about DHLPP too!
I do not vaccinate for Lepto, and I live on a farm and my dogs walk in the woods regularly. Lepto vaccine has one of the highest rates of adverse reactions, and it only protects (partially) against a FEW of many strains of Lepto. Lepto is a very treatable disease, even though it is also very serious. Dogs who die from it are generally dogs where the owner has taken a "wait and see" attitude toward symptoms of a sick dog. I don't do that, so I am pretty sure my dog would get to the vet before it became critical.
One of the biggest risks for Lepto is allowing your dog to drink from standing water, in puddles, swamps, etc. For this reason, I ALWAYS carry water for my dogs on walks, and they are trained to come away from puddles and get water from me if they are thirsty.
As far as the DHPP is concerned, once the dog has had its puppy shots, there is no reason to vaccinate more often than every three years. That is actually the AVMA guidelines at this point, so vets who are still pushing annual vaccinations are not up to date. Even at that point, my choice is to do titers rather than vaccines. That is also the recommendation of my holistic vet.
Rabies is different, because it is mandated by law. You have to give it, and on the schedule required by your state unless you are in a state that allows a medical waiver, and your dog qualifies (has had an adverse reaction in the past)
Bordatella is almost completely useless. It is more to protect boarding and grooming operations from law suits than anything else. Another vaccine I would never give, but at least this one is fairly benign.