New Four-Way Vaccine for Canine Leptospirosis

A new vaccine, Nobivac® Lepto4, is the first and only 4-way canine leptospirosis vaccine to be approved for protecting dogs against mortality from a debilitating disease, which, in its most severe form, can be deadly. The vaccine protects dogs from four leptospira serovars – L.canicola, L. icterohaemorrhagiae, L. pomona and L. grippotyphosa.

Leptospirosis can be very serious. Acute kidney failure occurs in 80%-90% of dogs with significant clinical disease , and the mortality rate of these dogs is approximately 20%. According to George E. Moore, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, “Leptospirosis can be a common cause of acute renal failure in dogs not vaccinated against the disease.”

Nobivac Lepto4 was also shown to prevent clinical disease including thrombocytopenia, kidney and liver dysfunction and leptospiremia. The vaccine was well tolerated in efficacy studies and proven safe in these and additional field studies involving dogs of various breeds and ages.

In developing the vaccine, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health researchers focused on preventing the worst case scenario and thus on preventing mortality. Steve Shell, Companion Animal Business Unit Head, said: “We subjected the vaccine to rigorous testing with the ultimate goal of providing the broadest possible protection of dogs’ lives and health.”

In clinical studies, no dogs vaccinated with Nobivac Lepto4 died or became severely ill as opposed to over half the dogs in the control group.

Studies show that most dogs are at risk for leptospirosis, including those who explore the outdoors; working dogs, especially hunting and herding breeds; dogs with access to ponds, lakes, streams or standing water; and dogs exposed to urine from other infected animals, either directly or via contaminated water. The disease is most common in the Northwest, upper Midwest, Northeast and South-Central U.S. Incidence rises during late summer and fall and during periods of warm, wet weather, especially with heavy rain and flooding.

“As suburbia has expanded into the country, people and pets are more exposed to wildlife, including raccoons, opossums and other animals who may be carriers of leptospirosis,” according to Rhonda LaFleur, PhD, a group leader in Biological Research at Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. “With the wet weather and flooding we’ve experienced in many areas of the U.S., we’re finding that nearly every dog that goes outside is vulnerable to the disease.”

The first dose of Nobivac Lepto4 may be administered to dogs 8 weeks of age or older, with a repeat dose 2 to 4 weeks after the initial dose. Similar to other bacterial vaccines, annual revaccination is recommended. It is available as a stand-alone or as a combination vaccine – Nobivac® Canine 1-DAPPv+L4, which also includes protection against canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza and parvovirus.