Published: 26 Sep 2022 | Last Updated: 26 Sep 2022 14:27:20

A new study at the Royal Veterinary College reported the uptake of leptospirosis vaccine and explored factors associated with vaccine usage. Vaccination is an important veterinary tool to protect animal health but despite this, vaccine usage is not well reported.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause a wide range of issues including kidney and liver damage and even death. It is also a zoonotic disease that can be spread to humans. Infection is mostly through contact with contaminated urine. Vaccination is currently the main way to reduce symptomatic infections and shedding of bacteria in urine. Leptospirosis vaccines are considered a core vaccine for UK dogs according to BSAVA. However, the proportion of dogs up-to-date on their leptospirosis vaccine in the UK has not been reported before. This study, using the VetCompass programme, examined the electronic patient records for dogs in a one-year period to determine the proportion of dogs up-to-date on leptospirosis vaccination and identify factors associated with leptospirosis vaccine usage.

  • Only half of dogs (49%) were up-to-date on their leptospirosis vaccine
  • Dogs were more likely to be up-to-date on a leptospirosis vaccine that were: <1 year old or insured (1.22x)
  • Adult dogs, especially those >8 years old, were more than ten times less likely to be up-to-date with leptospirosis vaccine than dogs <1 year old (0.08x)
  • Certain breeds were more likely to be up-to-date with leptospirosis vaccines: Border Terriers (1.49x), Golden Retrievers (1.30x), Cocker Spaniels (1.27x) and West Highland White Terriers (1,27x) than crossbreeds
  • Other breeds were less likely to be up-to-date with leptospirosis vaccines: French Bulldogs(0.64x), Staffordshire Bull Terriers (0.79x) and Pugs (0.91x) than crossbreeds

Understanding which dogs are (and aren’t) being vaccinated and why this might be happening can help inform more targeted vaccination strategies and provide a helpful discussion point for vets with owners. The paper can be accessed here.

Taylor, C., O’Neill, D.G., Catchpole, B. & Brodbelt, D.C. Leptospirosis vaccination in dogs attending UK primary care practices: vaccine uptake and factors associated with administration. BMC Vet Res 18, 285 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-022-03382-6

 


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