When I adopted Milo from a rescue group a couple of months ago, I was told that he was up to date on all vaccinations. Little did I know that he hadn’t been vaccinated for a Lepto, potentially serious disease.
The rescue group provided me with a record of all of Milo’s shots. As recommended, I set up a vet appointment for the week after I adopted him just to make sure all was good.
My cousin Mike Finkel is a vet, and he was my veterinarian for my cat Betsy during her entire life. But when I was ready to take Milo in for his first visit, my Mom informed me that Mike was out of the office temporarily and had another vet covering for him. Since his office isn’t exactly the most convenient for me now that I live in the Central West End, I opted to go with a nearby vet recommended by some Facebook friends for this first visit. I figured a nearby vet that I didn’t know was better than a vet across town that I didn’t know.
I was wrong.
I took Milo into the nearby vet and he was pronounced healthy. The vet didn’t feel it was necessary to check his stool that I brought with me since the rescue group’s vet had said it was negative. Milo got weighed and had his ears checked, and that’s about it. I assumed this was normal until my Mom adopted a rescue dog a few weeks later. My this time my cousin the vet was back in the office and Lexi went to see him. When I heard a description of the much more thorough exam, including that Lexi needed another vaccination that her rescue group didn’t give her, I decided that I needed to take Milo in just to be safe.
Mike’s examination of Milo was much more thorough than the first one. He also said that one stool test doesn’t guarantee that everything is all ok, and he asked me to bring a stool sample the next time I came back. He asked about where Milo is taken to go to the bathroom and if I would be going to dog parks. I explained that I now live in a condo so he takes a walk for all of his bathroom breaks, and I hoped to sign up for a dog park soon.
Mike’s response was that Milo needed to get vaccinated for Lepto.
Apparently Lepto, short for Leptospirosis, has started showing up in the St. Louis area. It is spread from dog to dog, mostly from sniffing urine or from the infected urine getting washed into standing water that another dog later drinks. The disease can attack the kidneys and liver and cause lots of problems. It could also be passed on to the humans who live with the dog.
Milo just received his 2nd shot and is now fully vaccinated for Lepto. I no longer need to worry about Milo sniffing from tree to tree as we walk every day.
If you have a dog who spends a lot of time with other dogs at parks or dog parks, or goes on daily walks and has a tendency to sniff the urine of other dogs, you should call your veterinarian and make sure your dog is vaccinated for Lepto. If your vet says you don’t need it and you live in the St. Louis area, then maybe you should get a second opinion.
My cousin Mike Finkel at Village Animal Clinic in Town & Country is always taking new patients, and even offers a discounted new patient 1st visit.