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Thread: DEFRA response - Lepto 4

  1. #1

    Question DEFRA response - Lepto 4

    UK Vets have been vaccinating with Lepto 2 vaccine for some years. Lepto 2 covers Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, both of which are found pretty much across the globe.

    Nobivac has recently introduced their vaccine Lepto 4 in to the UK market. Lepto 4 covers Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae (like Lepto 2) - but also vaccinates against Leptospira australis and Leptospira grippotyphosa.

    I asked DEFRA if the second 2 serovars (strains) are found in the UK or Western Europe.

    I've had an amended email 15/5/2015 - this is the amended version


    Leptospira Australis‏

    From Walsh, Brendan (Defra) (Brendan.Walsh@defra.gsi.gov.uk)
    To: dorsetdog.info@gmail.com

    Dear Mark,

    A veterinary colleague has pointed out to me that paragraphs 2&4 of my response to you yesterday were not completely correct and I can only apologise again. My reply should have read as follows:

    The results of testing that Defra is aware of (that undertaken by government laboratories such as the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has identified some evidence of seroconversion to both Leptospira Bratislava and Leptospira Grippotyphosa in dogs living in the UK. For the 12 month period April 2014 to March 2015, using the Microsopic Agglutination test (MAT) on sera submitted from dogs resident in UK to APHA Weybridge for diagnostic purposes, two dogs out of 172 tested for the serovar were seropositive to L. Grippotyphosa and 30 dogs out of 188 tested for the particular serovar were seropositive to L. Bratislava. The MAT does not distinguish between infected and vaccinated animals. The leptospira serovars can cross react among serotypes with similar antigenicity. The UK Zoonoses Report has listed results for Leptospira grippotyphosa testing since 2011, and although the 2013 UK Zoonoses Report has not yet been published it also does not include any evidence of these serogroups. APHA tests blood samples from dogs which are submitted for disease diagnosis, monitoring and export, but most of these samples are submitted to APHA for pre-export testing purposes, and do not represent a structured surveillance programme. However, I must alert you to the fact that these dogs are only serologically tested for the specific serovars requested by the veterinary surgeon submitting the samples. Therefore significant titres to other Leptospira serovars will not be identified through this testing.

    Other laboratories may also undertake testing of dogs living in the UK and they are under no obligation to inform Defra of their findings as leptospirosis is not a notifiable or reportable disease. A published article does state that seroconversion to the serogroup Grippotyphosa is common in Europe but appears to be rare in the UK and Ireland (Ellis, W. A. (2010) Control of canine leptospirosis in Europe: time for a change? Veterinary Record 167, 602-605). The same article also states that dogs in Europe have been found to have seroconverted to Leptospira australis.

    Leptospirosis in dogs can be fatal or cause serious disease, and for this reason UK vets have been protecting their canine patients by vaccination for many years. As you will be aware, many UK dogs travel to Europe, where as stated above, there is evidence of the existence of Leptospira australis and Leptospira grippotyphosa in dogs. Dogs that travel outside the UK and encounter a non-UK leptospire will have no immunity unless they have been appropriately vaccinated. Owners should seek advice from their vet on risks their dog might be exposed to when travelling.

    You mention dogs becoming ill after the UK administration of the Nobivac Lepto 4 vaccine, and that you have already contacted the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). If you are aware of one or more cases of illness, death or lack of efficacy potentially linked to any veterinary medicine please report this (or ask the vet involved to do so) to either the manufacturer or the VMD’s pharmacovigilance team using their online form (search gov.uk for “report vet medicine”). If this is the team you already contacted at VMD then thank you for doing so. If in future you become aware of further possible incidents please report these too, or encourage those directly involved to do so.

    In your more recent E mail you also asked about the origin of the human cases of Leptospira australis reported in the 2012 UK Zoonoses Report. We have contacted colleagues at Public Health England, who have advised us that of the six cases of Leptospira australis reported two were travel associated (to south east Asia) and for the other four no travel history is known. Three of these cases resided in England and one in Wales.

    I hope this helpful.

    Brendan Walsh

    Plant and Animal Health

    Area 5B Nobel House

    17 Smith Square

    London SW1P 3JR

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
    Original email 14/5/2015

    Leptospira Australis‏

    From Walsh, Brendan (Defra) (Brendan.Walsh@defra.gsi.gov.uk)
    To: dorsetdog.info@gmail.com


    Dear Mark,

    I can only apologise that your initial enquiry of 26 March was not answered and that you have had to re-contact Defra.

    The results of testing that Defra is aware of (that undertaken by government laboratories such as the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has not identified evidence of Leptospira australis or Leptospira grippotyphosa in dogs living in the UK. The UK Zoonoses Report has listed results for Leptospira grippotyphosa testing since 2011, and although the 2013 UK Zoonoses Report has not yet been published it also does not include any evidence of these serogroups, and nor have any positives been identified since by APHA or SRUC. APHA tests blood samples from dogs which are submitted for disease diagnosis, monitoring and export, but most of these samples are submitted to APHA for pre-export testing purposes, and do not represent a structured surveillance programme. However, I must alert you to the fact that these dogs are only serologically tested for the specific serovars requested by the veterinary surgeon submitting the samples. Therefore significant titres to other Leptospira serovars will not be identified through this testing.

    Other laboratories may also undertake testing of dogs living in the UK and they are under no obligation to inform Defra of their findings as leptospirosis is not a notifiable or reportable disease. A published article does state that seroconversion to the serogroup Grippotyphosa is common in Europe but appears to be rare in the UK and Ireland (Ellis, W. A. (2010) Control of canine leptospirosis in Europe: time for a change? Veterinary Record 167, 602-605). The same article also states that dogs in Europe have been found to have seroconverted to Leptospira australis.

    Leptospirosis in dogs can be fatal or cause serious disease, and for this reason UK vets have been protecting their canine patients by vaccination for many years. As you will be aware, many UK dogs travel to Europe, where as stated above, there is evidence of the existence of Leptospira australis and Leptospira grippotyphosa in dogs. Dogs that travel outside the UK and encounter a non-UK leptospire will have no immunity unless they have been appropriately vaccinated. Owners should seek advice from their vet on risks their dog might be exposed to when travelling.

    You mention dogs becoming ill after the UK administration of the Nobivac Lepto 4 vaccine, and that you have already contacted the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). If you are aware of one or more cases of illness, death or lack of efficacy potentially linked to any veterinary medicine please report this (or ask the vet involved to do so) to either the manufacturer or the VMD’s pharmacovigilance team using their online form (search gov.uk for “report vet medicine”). If this is the team you already contacted at VMD then thank you for doing so. If in future you become aware of further possible incidents please report these too, or encourage those directly involved to do so.

    In your more recent E mail you also asked about the origin of the human cases of Leptospira australis reported in the 2012 UK Zoonoses Report. We have contacted colleagues at Public Health England, who have advised us that of the six cases of Leptospira australis reported two were travel associated (to south east Asia) and for the other four no travel history is known. Three of these cases resided in England and one in Wales.

    Yours sincerely,

    Brendan Walsh

    Plant and Animal Health

    Area 5B Nobel House

    17 Smith Square

    London SW1P 3JR

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
    So the bottom line is that Leptospira australis and Leptospira grippotyphosa are in Europe. We all know that dogs can freely and easily move between the UK and Europe for dog shows and dog sales. And there is now evidence that UK residents have been infected in the UK with these 2 foreign strains of Lepto. So is it time to embrace Lepto 4
    Last edited by Mark Ellis; 05-16-2015 at 09:11 AM.
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    In a word "NO".
    You embrace if you wish I wouldn't use it again in a million years.
    Bridgette Evans
    Svena CKCS

  3. #3

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    I've had an amended email from DEFRA. I've pasted it at the start of the original post
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  4. #4

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    Timeline: in April the three pups were vaccinated with Zoetis Versican L4R, which states it is a killed virus vaccine against Leptospira Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Bratislava and Grippotyphosa, and also a rabies vaccine. This IS normal for France. They all had a little lumps at the vaccination site but it didn’t’ bother them at all and they had no other side effect. The following month their half-sister and mother had the same vaccine, with no side effects. Both half-sister and mother had their heart ultrasounds on 25 September, half-sister was strictly normal, mother has no audible murmur but on screen there is a slight sign of the valve weakening, but little changed since her last test in May 2015.

    So far so good. Then the 12 years old Vincent was vaccinated. He went to French Stade 3 over six years ago, so has been “cardiac” for a long time, but had never coughed and the cardiologist had not prescribed medication “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but that was BEFORE pimobendan came on the market. As the vet said, he compensates well and his lungs are perfectly clear. In the following week I found him one day on the floor looking very uncomfortable, asked what was wrong, he wagged his tail but didn’t move and I let the others out. I turned to go back to him but he was up and streaked past me and ran out with them. I wondered if I had imagined it. The same thing happened about four days later, and I began to get a bit worried. Then, two weeks to the day after the vaccination, I found him coughing pink blood. I went straight to the vet but didn’t see Dr Laurent who’d done the vaccine. Dr Lautié said he would try three things: first was intravenous pimobendan and a diuretic, and then a stagaire (schoolchildren who go to various enterprises for a fortnight to see what the work is like) and I held an oxygen mask over his face while he waited for the oxygen chamber to be free: it was being used for another patient. After half an hour the chamber was clear so we put Vincent in and Dr Lautié said he’d keep him in there overnight and phone me the following day. Blood tests showed his kidney function was OK but liver a bit high Vincent’s condition had improved, so I took him home but we kept the cannula in just in case.

    He was still poorly for a couple of days and didn’t eat much, but then perked up. He had pimobendan tablets, plus Enacard and a diuretic. Nine days later he suddenly lost his appetite, unless I hand fed him chicken or lamb. There was a bitch in season, but I wasn’t sure that was the reason. He became listless, as if he’d lost his interest in everything, and although he didn’t cough his heart hammered. Oddly his breathing was normal and fairly slow, not at all laboured. On the evening of day 11 after he’d come home from the vet I took him into the sitting room and laid him on a comfortable bed, left the room for a minute or two and returned to find him chasing the in-season girl around. He was wagging his tail but I didn’t think it a good thing so put her in the dog room, which peeved him a bit. Not much later he went to the kitchen door so I let him in here, and then he wanted to go out. When he returned he lay on the floor and made no attempt to go back into the sitting room. I took him into my room, but he didn’t want to be there and went back to the kitchen. The following morning he was dead, but looked comfortable, and rigor mortis had already set in.

    I took him to the vets’ surgery to arrange cremation and saw both Drs Laurent and Lautié. I told them that I had heard anecdotally of other dogs with heart problems who’d been vaccinated with Versican L4R and had subsequently suffered pulmonary oedema. Dr Laurent said that it was a shock to him as it is extremely rare for a dog’s lungs to change so much in a fortnight and he’d anticipated that Vincent would carry on as he was for a while longer. When I told him about Vincent and the in-season bitch he said he reckoned that hormones kicked in before anything else, and that although it probably created a greater strain on his heart, Vincent would have slipped away with a happy memory. He typed everything I told him into Vincent’s record on the computer, and then got some forms which are I think are for the European Medicines Agency, filled them in and printed off all Vincent’s detailed records. He said they report ANY anomaly that arises after any medication. It is an independent body, so impartial.

    I said I wondered if a dog with MVD could be classed as “not in good health” and he said it was a good question. My older dogs had all had the other vaccines with no adverse effects, but it does look as if this one is not good news. I am worried as this is an area where leptospirosis (but I don’t which strains) is quite common, so the dogs do need the vaccine.

    This has been a truly dreadful year. This is so soon after Raziela and although logically I know that Vincent was not a bad age, 12 years four months, and that Tchi the Ridgeback and Rascally and Raziela were both really aged there was also Easy in June, and he was only 6.

    There are people who think if you have lots of dogs you can’t love them all, but you could say the same of people who have lots of children: each one has their own special personality and although some might be stronger characters and have that little “extra”, they are all my companions and my family. I haven’t yet told Charline and François at the kennels: François was really fond of Vincent even if he worried him by scaling the 2 metre chain link fence: Vincent did go back to him when called. Another memory: nine years ago a family came with a bitch to be mated and while we were doing the introductions (Tom hadn’t met any of them) Vincent quietly got on with the job and by the time we’d all sat down they were happily tied. It was Vincent who climbed the garden gate and had a wander around the neighbourhood; visible on Google Earth Street View https://www.instantstreetview.com/@4...,-90h,0p,1.01z !; climbing back over when he wanted to come in. We tried all sorts of ways to stop him, but even an electric fence didn’t work. He was such a lovely character and a real softie; he’d look at me as if to say “Why did you worry?”. The oldest now is Cedric, who is only 9. The dynamics of the household have changed so much and the other dogs are really disturbed.

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 10-20-2016 at 10:01 AM.

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    I'm so sorry Jane! What a dreadful year you have had!
    Virpi
    Jatomic Cavaliers

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    I had a stand up argument with my vet and told them that neither were to be vaccinated with Lepto4. It is the vet practice policy now that Lepto4 is used.. I won!.. Bertie didn't have that in July and Sydney won't be getting it in February...

    Both dogs has illnesses within a week of their last vaccinations and I blame Lepto 2 for that... So there was no way that they were going to get the newer vaccination..

    Lepto isn't a core vaccination..
    Julie, Peter,
    Sydney & Harvey - Jake 21.02.11 - Bertie 21.11.16

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    Oh Jane I am so very sorry to hear about Vincent. What a dog he was. Reminds me of my Angus, who would do anything and go anywhere to get his way with a bitch in season and ready for his 'attentions'! You will remember him with many smiles. You have indeed had one awful year to contend with; next year must surely be a happier one.

    I am so relieved to know that my vet decided some time ago that he didn't like the potential risks involved in Lepto 4 and will only give it if he is sure the owner insists on it being used.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo

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    Jane, this is terrible news. As you say he seemed to die happy, but thinking it might be reaction to the vaccine is absolutely appalling. I have myself become very concerned about vaccines of late, although we don't need to vaccinate for Lepto (it only occurs in a very small area of the southern coast). But I argue that in any case, other than rabies which is the law, why do we need to vaccinate every year when it is a known fact that quite a number of dogs have adverse reactions. If we look at children they are normally vaccinated once, or maybe, twice and they get lifetime protection. So why not our dogs? I personally think the drug manufacturers' reps are pushing it with the vets. They can't with the doctors because the National Health or whatever the equivalent in any given country is won't stand for it. And on top of it, I got a puppy with parvo AFTER being vaccinated against it; fortunately the rest of the litter were OK.

    Rest in peace, Vincent

  9. #9

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    It's the Zoetis Versican Plus L4 that killed my Alfie in March, I just can't prove it. Zoetis paid for the autopsy, but RVC just recorded that he died of MVD and ignored the significant decline in his heart within 24/48 hours of each injection.

    I set this group up on Facebook for owners to record their personal experience of the Zoetis vaccine. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Zoet...UK.experience/

    Bridget's group on the Nobivac L4 is brilliant, but you get the same people sharing the same American stories off the Canadian website, along with the "I heard that ..."
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  10. #10

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    Thanks Mark, I've requested to become a member of both groups. It was having read Alfie's dreadful experience that I thought I should mention it to my vets, and Dr Laurent's reaction made me glad I did. It was the way he agreed that this seems more than just coincidence. I know his own dogs are vaccinated with L4 - a Labrador, a Springer Spaniel who's still quite young and a couple more that I'm not sure of the breed.

    I wonder if the situation is different in France; it seemed from the way Dr Laurent spoke that vets here are obliged to report any reactions to any medicines and the fact that he had forms ready to complete sounds as if it's a system in place.

    My friends with the Berger Picards had one with an unusual illness and I do remember that Aline said the vet had prescribed a drug and asked her to tell him exactly how he behaved afterwards - good and bad, if any bad. He said the drug was effective but there were recorded cases of undesirable side effects and they needed to be collated.

    In human medecine the slips of paper in the packets ask us to report any adverse side effects too - at least, the ones in France do, but I'm sure it's the same in the UK.

    It does make me wonder, though, I had five vaccinated with no apparent ill effects but they were all young with healthy hearts. I am pretty sure the manufacturers did not test on older dogs with poor hearts; read one report which said 150 dogs were over vaccinated (three or four times in the space of five months) to see what the effects were and they were all local to the injection site. There was nothing about age, sex or breed of the dogs - if any.

    Jane

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 10-21-2016 at 07:46 AM.

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