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The leptospirosis vaccine for dogs is not mandatory, and many places do not include it in their base vaccine packages for this reason. At Essentials PetCare, however, it is part of our bundled dog vaccines for all ages eligible to receive the vaccine.


Because lepto can lead to serious problems in dogs if it is not caught and treated early – and it is currently the most common zoonotic disease that can pass from animals to people. Moreover, while it is more common for dogs in rural areas who spend a lot of time outside to catch leptospirosis, any dogs who go outside – even just to do their business – are potentially susceptible.

What Is Leptospirosis?

Leptospira bacteria causes leptospirosis. It is present in soil and water around the world, and numerous strains exist. While there tend to be more cases of leptospirosis in areas with ample rainfall and warm weather, it exists everywhere. It is also possible for dogs to get lepto from contact with the urine of other animals, including wildlife, farm animals, and pets.

Dogs who contract leptospirosis often develop serious liver or kidney problems. Most do not die, but the vast majority end up needing intensive care from an animal hospital in addition to antibiotics to ease the symptoms. 

What Are Some Signs and Symptoms?

Worried your dog may have lepto? There are three main forms the disease takes: hemorrhagic, jaundice (liver), and renal (kidney). All forms of leptospirosis can be fatal.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drinking
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Jaundice (yellow in the mouth or eye-whites)
  • Little to no appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Severe weakness
  • Stiffness
  • Tongue ulcers
  • Unable to have puppies
  • Vomiting

How Does the Leptospirosis Vaccine for Dogs Help?


The process is similar to vaccines in general. There is a weakened form of leptospira bacteria in the vaccine. Injecting this into a dog causes their immune system to create antibodies, which help them fight the disease.

It should be noted that lepto vaccine only works as protection against some types of leptospira bacteria. That means it is still possible for your pup to get the disease. However, getting vaccinated still reduces their risk of suffering illness from leptospirosis.

How Many Lepto Shots Will My Dog Need?

For their first dose – which can happen as early as 12 weeks old – your pup will have to get a booster. That means one initial shot and then a follow-up 2-4 weeks later. After that, it’s kind of like the flu shot for humans – they’ll need a single dose each year.

Do I Need to Worry about Side Effects in My Pup?

Like most vaccines, the lepto vaccine is incredibly safe, and most side effects are mild. Typical side effects can include mild soreness in the area where they received the shot and some sleepiness.

That being said, a small number of dogs may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Call your veterinarian if you notice:

  • Hives
  • Lethargy
  • Swelling in the face
  • Vomiting

The Leptospirosis Vaccine for Dogs at Essentials PetCare

As mentioned above, Essentials PetCare includes the lepto vaccine in all of our dog vaccine bundles. They range in price from $90 – $180. We also offer the vaccine by itself for $40.

Please note that if this is the first time your pet is receiving the lepto vaccine, there will be a booster due in the following weeks for just $40.

Essential Tip: The best pricing comes with our bundles. See the difference by checking out the different packages we offer.