Facts About Vacs.
There has been a lot of speculation on social media regarding the safety of the L4 vaccine. Reports are being widely circulated of illness or even death of dogs following it’s administration and vets are being accused of being negligent for including it as part of their vaccine protocol.
At Foxhall vets, we take the welfare of our patients very seriously and understand that pets are family. Our heart goes out to anyone who has lost a beloved companion and we know from our own experiences, unexpected loss can be especially traumatic. However, in the interest of our patient’s wellbeing we feel we should explain why we are using the L4 vaccine and will continue to do so.
First and foremost, vets swear a solemn oath to ‘uphold the welfare of any animal committed to their care’ & all the staff at Foxhall remain dedicated to this principal.
To help them achieve this vets are trained as medical scientist and part of their role is to evaluate evidence in order to be able to offer the best treatment options for you and your pet.
We recognise that no drug or vaccination can be guaranteed to be safe, but if we suggest using something it is because we believe that the benefits outweigh the risk.
The safety of the L4 vaccine has been rigorously tested and vaccine reactions are rare. In many cases where the timing of vaccination coincides with illness it is often due to other factors outside of the influence of the vaccine.
What we know to be fact is that Leptospirosis remain a real and serious threat to dogs. It is a bacterial disease, it can cause multi-organ failure and despite modern treatment options it can still result in death.
Our vets have seen this and remember the patients they could not save. It is also zoonotic , which means that it can be passed from animals to people.
It is normally spread in the urine of infected animals (often rodents) and can survive many months in soil or water. It also exists in a number of different strains and the L4 vaccine provides the most comprehensive cover available. You may have read that the Leptospirosis vaccine is not considered a ‘Core Vaccine’ by the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association). This is true, however, vets are advised to consider the environmental risk factors for their patients when advising on vaccination, (or indeed any preventative medication).
In Lincolnshire, we have a lot of open farmland with drainage ditches and many of our dogs enjoy the benefits of the countryside and the freedom of the great outdoors. For this reason, we continue to advise protection against leptospirosis.