The WSAVA has hit back at inaccurate reports in the national media claiming it was urging vets to avoid using a market-leading vaccine.

Nobivac-L4Former WSAVA president Michael Day has rebutted The Daily Telegraph’s article claiming the association was recommending vets avoid using MSD’s Nobivac L4 leptospirosis vaccine on puppies younger than 12 weeks.

Describing the statement as “blatantly untrue”, he said: “The WSAVA would never ‘urge owners’ and would never make recommendations about individual named commercial products.”

Prof Day added: “The WSAVA guidelines are available online and this journalist has clearly not undertaken adequate research before publishing this article.”


Several national newspapers picked up on the story, with The Daily Telegraph claiming “regulators have received 2,000 reports of dogs having suspected adverse or fatal reactions” following vaccination with Nobivac L4.

The VMD has received notifications, but a report obtained by Veterinary Times showed, in the three-and-a-half years since the vaccine was authorised, the incidence of adverse reactions was 0.064 per cent. Therefore, for every 10,000 doses sold, six reports of adverse reactions were received.

MSD has been asked to put additional warnings on the product information stating immune-mediated reactions – including immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and immune-mediated polyarthritis – have been reported in rare cases.

When contacted about the reports, MSD emphasised safety profiles of veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccines are established from rigorous clinical trials and safety warnings for the product are provided on the product data sheet.

  • Read more on this story in the 18 July issue of Veterinary Times.
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