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Monday, 2 September 2013

Fact finding mission


I hope you don't mind me contacting you but I am in bits about the loss of my dog and need some answers from someone who really may know.

My beautiful lurcher who was around 12 died on Sunday after a sudden illness, by the time we had the blood tests back showing liver failure it was too late.

Yesterday I was told the liver biopsy was non specific hepatitis, but the bloods indicated high titre levels for Weils disease. Our vet says the fact we have been back and forward with non specific "not right" issues for a few months may mean this was incubating or getting weaker and older made her less able to fight it.

She was vaccinated and boostered every year we had her (10.5 years) as a rescue dog we signed a contract to do this. However in May the vet did not give her booster as she wasn't quite herself he took blood and urine that showed very slight kidney damage and nothing else. we got involved in pain relief for her hips and kidney diets. Now she has gone I am told the lepto vaccine is only effective for <12 months, there are more strains than the vaccine can protect against and no indication a booster would have helped In this case, diagnosis is not 100% just based on the facts above.

Our vet says that we did all we could and we followed all their advice to the letter, but I am in such a state. Would she really have been unprotected 16 months after her last booster?, are there really lots of strains the vaccine does not protect against anyway?

I am fairly dog knowledgable, but had no idea lepto was such a weak vaccine or that as a swimming/ wading dog she was at risk. With metacalm for her hips she was running around and swimming like a youngster right up to the week before she died.

Any knowledge you have most welcome.

Thank you.

Kindest regards,

Carmella Delargy, by email

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved dog, I know only too well how devasting this is, and that you can beat yourself up over this, even though there was nothing else that you could have done.

    As far as I know there are several strains of Lepto, and vaccines used to last only 6 - 9 months, making it a bit of a farce to only include them in a yearly booster.

    I think there are two schools of thought regarding Titre testing as well one is that levels of antibodies for any particular disease rise when they have come into contact it, as the antibodies then fight it. I would have thought that if there were high Titres levels for Lepto, then this would indicate that she had been in contact with the disease, as many dog's will be with rat's being everywhere, but her immune system would have kicked in producing more antibodies. This would be the same for other diseases as well. Even if a dog had had a low titre reading for a disease, this could mean that the dog just hadn't come into contact with it, not that it needed boostering.
    You may find Catherine O'Driscoll website Canine Health Concern useful reading, and will explain about vaccines and diseases far better than I can.