Friday, October 16, 2009


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 bound 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 inexpensive protections against costly treatment, or even premature death of your dog.

The 5 following vaccinations are often given in one shot known as DHLPP (or a 5-way).

Distemper is one of the two most important diseases of dogs. It is very widespread, and nearly every dog will be exposed to distemper within the first year of life in our area. Signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite, fever, and discharges 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. It is usually fatal.

Canine hepatitis affects the dog’s liver. Spread through and infected dog’s urine, exposure can mean anything from a 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. It can reside as a low-level infection for months or years, infecting other dogs while weakening your pet. Lepto is contracted through rodent urine, and many dogs contract this disease by drinking water that a squirrel or other rodent has run through. The scariest thing about Lepto, however, is that it is a zoonotic disease (it can be transferred to humans). While leptospirosis was rarely seen due to vaccinations, an increase in cases in the past few years has caused vets to encourage this vaccine.

Parainfluenza is caused by a virus which produces a mild respiratory tract infection. It is often associated with other respiratory tract viruses. In combination these viruses are usually transmitted by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs. This virus is not dissimilar to the human flu.

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. Ad 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. Three is another form where the virus attacks the heart muscle causing a heart attack and death. The younger the pet, the GREATER the 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.

The following vaccinations are given as separate shots. These vaccines often require a series of injections to develop a high level of immunity.

Otherwise known as “kennel cough,” dogs with this disease develop an upper respiratory infection not unlike the common cold. While typically not fatal, if left untreated this can develop into pneumonia which is fatal. Bordatella is transmitted much the same way as the common cold, and most dogs will acquire it at some point in their lives. Signs include a mucus discharge in the eyes and nose, and a dry, hacking cough. In more severe cases, these symptoms may be accompanied with lack of appetite and depression.

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. Many states require vaccination against rabies, and most veterinarians recommend vaccination for all dogs and cats, regardless of state law. 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

No comments:

Post a Comment