Autumn is coming (& lepto may be more likely) Canada.

Here in Canada we don’t have much in the way of current publications on K9 lepto hot spots. However, due to the veterinary grapevine, willingness of diagnostics labs to share results and word of mouth, many of us are sadly aware that near the Halifax (and surrounding Nova Scotia) area leptospirosis established itself with a vengeance last fall. Portions of southern Ontario were hit pretty hard with K9 cases as well…and for both regions new cases were being diagnosed well into December 2017. That’s unusual since we don’t tend to think of lepto as a bug that does particularly well in colder climes (i.e. how we traditionally think of the Canadian winter), but times ‘they are a changin’ and at the risk of using 2 song choruses at one go, we (veterinarians) may need to ‘change, change, change’ our thinking on what vaccines are indicated for our specific geographic risk regions. 

These days, if you live in (or plan to travel to) eastern or Atlantic Canada (and potentially coastal B.C) with your dog, leptospirosis vaccination (i.e. containing the 4 K9 lepto serovars I mentioned in the prior blog ( is something you’ll want to consider in order to protect dogs year-round. Particularly as we slide into fall and hope to avoid further outbreaks of severe canine illness. 

On that note and to help raise awareness, here’s a draft map provided by Scott Weese and our collaborative research team (Universities of Guelph and PEI) on Canadian canine lepto test positive incidence (PCR, ELISA). Data source from December 2008 to May 2018, courtesy of IDEXX Laboratories: