Dog Vaccinations Article

Dog Vaccinations

Many of the serious diseases of dogs can be prevented by vaccination. With over 50 million pet dogs in the United States alone, your pet is likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at some time. Even if you always keep your pet indoors, your dog can be exposed to viruses carried in the air, in dust, or on clothing. Vaccination is an inexpensive protection against costly treatment, or even premature death of your dog.


Distemper is one of the two most common diseases of dogs. In some areas, it is very widespread. Signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. “Squinting” of the eyes is often the first sign observed. Once the virus enters the nervous system, convulsions, twitches, or partial paralysis become evident. It is spread through all body secretions and is highly contagious and usually fatal.


Since its devastating worldwide appearance in 1978, most dog owners have heard of parvo. It is transmitted through direct contact with an infected dog’s feces. A dog that recovers from the disease remains a “carrier”, spreading the virus in its bowel movements for 1-3 months. Signs include vomiting, fever, depression, and diarrhea, which often will contain large amounts of blood. There is another form where the virus attacks the heart muscle causing a heart attack and death. The younger the pet, the GREATER chance of death; the death rate is very high in dogs under 4-6 months of age. Dogs remain susceptible to Parvovirus infection until TWO WEEKS AFTER THE LAST INJECTION. In the vaccination series this is the MOST SERIOUS and FATAL disease we see today.


Canine hepatitis affects the dog’s liver. Spread through an infected dog’s urine, exposure can mean anything from mild infection to death. Puppies are at most risk with this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by the veterinarian today.


“Lepto” is a bacterial infection that affects the dog’s kidneys and is transmitted by rodents. It can reside as a low-level infection for months or years, infecting other dogs while weakening your pet. There has been a recent increase in the number of Lepto infections.


Technically known as “tracheo-bronchitis”, it is an upper respiratory infection with the major sign being a persistent, dry, hacking cough. It often lasts several weeks and is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. It is caused by several viruses and bacteria, which are included in the vaccinations.


Corona virus is an intestinal infection resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. It is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS and can be FATAL. Research shows Corona often infects with Parvo at the same time in many dogs.


Rabies is a FATAL INFECTION of the nervous system that attacks all warm- blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious dog. Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. All states require vaccination against rabies. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even dogs kept indoors can come in contact with a rabies carrier in a basement, garage, or attic. Because there is no cure for rabies, vaccination is your pet’s only protection.

NOTE: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Corona virus are all available in one injection. A series of injections are required to develop the high level of immunity required in our area. Bordetalla Bronchitis (kennel cough) and Rabies must be given as separate injections.