Having your puppy vaccinated is one of the very best ways to help your dog achieve a long and healthy life. One essential vaccine that our Ambler vets recommend all puppies receive is the DHPP 5-in-1 vaccination. Today we look at what this vaccine protects against and why it's important.
Why You Should Get Your Dog Vaccinated
Similar to vaccinations for people, dog vaccines guard your pet against a host of serious diseases that can turn life-threatening for your pet. Getting your dog vaccinated may seem like an unnecessary expense — after all, you keep a close eye on them. However, your dog’s shots will probably cost far less than treatment for the illnesses that could impact your pet if they aren’t protected. Which means that vaccinations could potentially save you money in the long run.
Core Vaccines VS Lifestyle Vaccines
There are two different categories of vaccines that are available for pets.
Lifestyle vaccinations are vaccines that are recommended for some pets based on their lifestyle, some common lifestyle vaccines include Lyme, leptospira, and bordetella. Lifestyle vaccinations are often recommended for dogs and cats that spend time outdoors around other animals, or in kennels, doggie daycare, or off-leash parks.
Core vaccinations are recommended for all pets and protect against diseases that are highly contagious, cause severe illness, and pose a serious risk to your pet's longevity - DHPP is a highly recommended core vaccination for dogs in North America.
What The DHPP Vaccine Protects Against
The DHPP 5-in-1 vaccine is a single injection that includes protection against 5 very serious dog diseases.
Canine Distemper Virus (D - Distemper)
Canine distemper is a virus that is spread between dogs by air, through contact with a contaminated surface (such as toys, bedding or bowls) or by direct contact with an infected animal. The distemper virus attacks many of your dog's systems including respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems leading to symptoms that can range from high fever and coughing to vomiting, diarrhea, and watery discharge from the nose and eyes. In more advanced stages distemper in dogs can lead to pneumonia, seizures, or paralysis. Distemper can rapidly become fatal very rapidly, particularly for puppies and older dogs with weakened immune systems.
Canine Adenovirus CAV-1 & CAV-2
CAV-1 - Canine Hepatitis (H - Hepatitis)
CAV-1 or Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious virus that can affect your dog's liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and eyes. Early symptoms vary from a low-grade fever and congestion to vomiting. More severe symptoms such as jaundice, abdominal pain, eye inflammation, and bruising may begin to appear as the disease progresses. If left untreated this condition can quickly become fatal.
CAV-2 Canine Adenovirus
CAV-2 is a milder canine adenovirus which the DHPP vaccination can protect your dog against. CAV-2 is typically not as serious as the other conditions that this vaccine protects against however, this virus often leads to kennel cough which can weaken your dog's immune system and lead to further, more serious conditions including canine distemper. Symptoms of kennel cough are similar to that of the human cold and include a hacking cough and congestion.
Canine Parainfluenza (P - Parainfluenza)
Canine Parainfluenza is yet another highly contagious disease that is transmitted by air and can spread very quickly between dogs that come in contact with each other in kennels, off-leash parks or even just in multi-dog homes. Parainfluenza leads to cold or flu like symptoms in dogs including kennel cough and congestion.
Canine Parvovirus (P - Parvo)
Canine Parvovirus is a very serious, highly contagious condition that can quickly become fatal for many dogs, particularly puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs. Parvovirus attacks your dog's gastrointestinal tract leading to vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and rapid loss of fluid and protein. This condition prevents your pup's GI tract from properly absorbing the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and often requires hospitalization and intensive care as life-saving treatment.
Parvovirus can live on surfaces (including soil) for up to a year and has been shown to be particularly resistant to many common disinfectants and cleaning solutions. Which means that even just taking your unvaccinated puppy out for a walk around the block could develop into a very serious veterinary emergency.
When to Get Your Dog Vaccinated
The DHPP 5-in-1 vaccine is a single shot that is given to puppies in a series of injections starting at about 6 weeks of age and given every 2 to 4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. All adult dogs should receive a booster shot of the DHPP vaccine either yearly or every 3 years based on your vet's recommendation.
The DHPP 5-in-1 vaccine allows you to provide your puppy, or adult dog, with protection against 5 serious conditions while minimizing cost to you and discomfort to your pooch.
Preventive Care at Spring House Animal Hospital
At Spring House Animal Hospital in Ambler we believe that preventive care is the best way to help your canine companion live a long and healthy life - vaccines play a vital role in your pup's annual preventive care routine.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.