Veterinarians Keep Close Watch on Potentially Deadly Canine Disease

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (August 27, 2004) ” From Boston and Buffalo, to Chicago, Denver, Houston and San Diego, veterinarians across the country are keeping a close watch on the recent outbreak of Leptospirosis, a potentially deadly canine disease that has already killed several dogs this summer. Leptospirosis thrives in water sources and is commonly found after periods of heavy rain. Animals which come into contact with water sources that have been contaminated with urine of infected wildlife are most at risk.

A new website, www.dvmvac.org, profiles the latest information on the outbreak of Leptospirosis. The site, which educates veterinarians and pet owners about the important role vaccines play in the health of animals, also features break-through research on canine and feline vaccine development and helps to clarify the debate regarding annual and extended vaccination schedules.

“For many diseases such as Leptospirosis, vaccines remain the single most important element of a pet’s preventative healthcare program,” says well-known vaccine expert Dr. John Ellis, Professor of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “The site, www.dvmvac.org, answers questions by members of the veterinary profession and the pet-owning public about vaccine efficacy and safety.”

Lyme disease expert, Dr. Steve Levy says Lyme is another disease that requires annual vaccination. Levy says, “Annual vaccinations play a critical role in maintaining the immunity necessary to break the Lyme disease cycle. This site is an important new tool to expand our reach as veterinarians and further public awareness about the use of vaccines in dogs and cats.”

Other advisory board members for www.dvmvac.org include:

  • Steven Krakowka, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVP, Ohio State University
  • Gary Norsworthy, DVM, Dipl., ABVP, San Antonio, TX
  • James Evermann, MS, Ph.D., Washington State University
  • Dr. Margret Casal, Assistant Professor of Medical Genetics, University of Pennsylvania

In addition to interviews with veterinary academia and testimonials from practicing veterinarians, www.dvmvac.org offers information for both veterinarians and pet owners.

The section for veterinarians includes topics on:

  • Safety, efficacy and duration of immunity of vaccines
  • Killed vs. modified-live vaccines
  • Sarcomas
  • The role adjuvants play in vaccine efficacy

The pet owner section features information on:

  • Facts about vaccination
  • Disease risk factors
  • Canine and feline diseases controlled by vaccination

The new vaccine website is currently funded through an educational grant by Fort Dodge Animal Health, based out of Overland Park, Kan. The site is published by Germinder & Associates, Inc., which also publishes www.goodnewsforpets.com.For posting or sponsorship information on www.dvmvac.org, contact Lea Ann Germinder, APR at 816-822-0192 or via email at [email protected].

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For more on Leptospirosis from the Centers for Disease Control, click on the following links.

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