Keep Up with News & Topics of Interest at Royal Road Veterinary

Understanding Leptospirosis

Many of our patients receive vaccinations against leptospirosis, an often-fatal bacterial infection that results in kidney failure. Leptospirosis is spread throughout the environment via wildlife, such as deer, raccoons and foxes. There is a vaccine available to help combat 4 of the 6 strains.

In the past, leptospirosis vaccines have been associated with higher rates of allergic reactions compared to the other vaccinations that we use. Vaccine reactions are rarely life-threatening and are usually easily and cheaply treatable. The most common symptoms of a vaccine reaction are facial swelling and hives. The fear of inducing an allergic reaction has resulted in many owners opting not to vaccinate against this disease.

In the past several months, there have been at least two confirmed cases of leptospirosis in the Fredericton area. As well, we have changed vaccine brands, which has resulted in a significant reduction in our vaccine allergic reactions. The leptospirosis vaccine we are currently using seems to have no more tendency to cause an allergic reaction than any of the other vaccines we routinely use.

So, with fewer allergic reactions, and with confirmed cases in the area, we urge dog owners to reconsider their decision not to vaccinate their pets for this disease. If you have a small breed dog or a dog that has had a previous allergic reaction, your pet is more likely to have a reaction, but that risk is still low.

Emergency Coverage

Royal Road Veterinary Hospital shares after-hours emergency coverage with three other hospitals in the Fredericton, Oromocto area.

This service is for our regular, current patients. We do not accept new patients after-hours. If your pet is a regular patient of Royal Road (has been to see us for routine care in past 12 months) and you have an emergency and need to see a veterinarian, call our hospital number: 506-460-8668. A message will give you instructions on how to reach the hospital/doctor on duty.

Annual Check-Ups

There are now vaccines that have been shown to no longer require an annual booster. Some of these vaccines are being boostered every three years instead. With these extended protocols, there are people who are choosing not to bring their pets in for their annual physical exam unless they are due for vaccines.

Vaccines are only a small part of what is required to keep cats and dogs healthy. At their annual check-up, your pet is given a physical examination, where problems unknown to the owner may be discovered (ear infections, dental disease, weight problems, cancers, heart murmurs, etc.). A cat or dog ages much more in one year than a human does.

Regular deworming is just as important as keeping vaccinations current. In order for us to be able to dispense prescription dewormers (or any other prescription medication), a pet must be a “current” patient of our hospital. A current patient is one that has been to the hospital in the past 12 months for a routine check-up.

After-hours emergency service is provided for current patients of the hospital. So, we urge everyone to make sure their pet is up-to-date on their veterinary care, not just their vaccine status.