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Vaccines: What do I need for my dog?

01-24-18 3:36 PM by tillemavetclinic
Vaccines: What do I need for my dog?

Vaccines are a crucial part of keeping our pets healthy, and we are always asked: "what vaccines does my dog need?"

This is a great question and we welcome it! Who doesn't get confused when trying to decipher DHPP, DHPPV, DA2PP? The exact combination of your pets distemper combo vaccine depends on your dog's age and individual disease risk profile, but in general, the best bet with protecting your furry friend is canine distemper, canine adenovirus-2, canine parvovirus infection, and parainfluenza. We will get a bit into what those are exactly in a moment, so don't fret over all those big words. If you are ever unsure of what your pet needs, if you would like a little more information, or if you just acquired a new pet and don't know where to start,  please don't hesitate to schedule an exam with us so we can get the best plan of action for your furry friend!

Core vaccines are vaccines that are recommended for every dog, everywhere. These vaccines prevent life threatening diseases, and should be taken very seriously. Core vaccines are Canine Distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV), the variants of canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), and Rabies. 

Now, what is DHA2PP, why does my dog need it, and when should I start? It's a good idea to start puppies with their first vaccines at 6-8 weeks of age, and booster every 2-4 weeks after each inoculation. This helps your pet build immunity to the disease and prevent infection further down the road. Below is breakdown of the meanings and diseases being prevented in a DHA2PPV injection. 

D: Canine distemper virus. An infection with this virus is serious, with a death rate approaching 50% in untreated dogs. It attacks the respiratory, digestive, and brain/nervous systems of dogs.

H: Hepatitis. This vaccine often pulls a double duty and protects against canine adenovirus-2 and canine adenovirus-1, and is referred to as "A2". Canine adenovirus -1 causes canine infectious hepatitis, a serious disease that affects the liver. Canine Adenovirus-2 causes respiratory disease and is one of the infections agents commonly associated with infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as "kennel cough".

A2: Canine Adenovirus-2. This virus causes respiratory disease in dogs. (see above)

P: Parvovirus. Infection with this virus is highly contagious and serious, with a death rate approaching 90% in untreated dogs. the virus attacks the digestive and immune systems of unvaccinated animals, causing debilitating diarrhea and vomiting. 

P: Parainfluenza. This virus causes a mild respiratory disease in dogs. 

V: Virus. (that was easy enough)

You might also see an "L" or a "C" on the end of DHA2PP, there are other diseases that can be prevented by adding Corona or Lepto to the DHA2PP. Those are as follows:

C: Coronavirus. This causes highly contagious viral disease in dogs. The disease usually attacks the intestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhea. This vaccination is considered "non-core" but may be recommended in areas where coronavirus is common. 

L: Leptospirosis. This is a potentially serious bacterial disease that attacks the kidneys and liver of infected dogs and can be transmitted to humans. This vaccination is considered "non-core" but may by recommended in areas where leptospirosis is common. 

Now that we have discussed what is included in the combo vaccines, next up is Bordetella brochiseptica or "Bordetella". This bacterium causes respiratory disease in dogs. It is one of the most common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, better known as "kennel cough". Bordetella is highly contagious and can be transmitted through the air or direct contact. While not a core vaccine for dogs, it is wise to vaccinate against the bacteria when your dog will be staying overnight in a pet hotel or if your dog frequents the groomer or dogs parks.