Lepto is one of those diseases that dog owners fear the most.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous vaccines we can give our dogs.  Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete Leptospira.  This is most often transmitted to dogs from water contaminated with racoon or rat urine. Lepto can cause a wide range of symptoms including high fever, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If left untreated, dogs can develop kidney damage or liver failure.

In Cuba, Lepto is commonly spread from rats to humans.  The country goes through a yearly cycle of Leptospirosis epidemic, especially after the hurricanes flood the countryside and water pollution reaches its height. Many people are left homeless, flooded out and under the stress of disaster situation.

In late 2007, in response to the developing epidemic, and with only enough vaccine to treat 15,000 high-risk people, the Cuban government decided to treat the entire population of one province with a homeopathic medicine. The Finlay Institute prepared a Leptospira nosode 200 CH using four circulating strains and following international quality standards.

The nosode was given to the 2.3 million population of the provinces usually worst affected. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen from the forecast 38 to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast for those weeks of the year.The 8.8 million population of the other provinces did not receive homeopathic treatment and the incidence was as forecast. The effect appeared to be sustained: there was an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region in the following year (2008) when, for the first time, incidence did not correlate with rainfall. In the same period, incidence in the untreated region increased by 22%.

Cuba now uses the homeopathic protocol with its entire population.  This is an exciting piece of research showing that homeopathy can be effective and much less costly than vaccination.  Moreover, it has interesting implications for our dogs.  Hopefully more homeopaths and vets will try this approach with our dogs, giving us piece of mind and saving dogs from the ravaging effects of the Lepto vaccine.

For more information on the study, see:  Bracho, Gustavo et al. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 156-166.