WHAT IS IT?
This is the main dog vaccine. Often it is referred to as the distemper vaccine, the parvo vaccine, 6 way or 7 way or 8 way vaccine, annual vaccine or simply "the D something blah blah". It is an acronym for the diseases that this vaccine protects your dog against. Each letter stands for a disease; D=distemper, H=hepatitis, L=leptospirosis, P=parainfluenza, P=parvo and C=corona. There are many combinations that can be used. Some veterinarians prefer to leave out the corona (DHLPP), while some also leave out the leptospirosis (DHPP). Any way it comes it is a vaccine that your dog needs yearly.
D=Distemper. Canine Distemper is an extremely dangerous and highly contagious viral infection. Initially distemper is an upper respiratory disease. Signs include runny eyes, nasal discharge and sneezing. From there more severe cases can show severe diarrhea, vomiting and seizures. If the central nervous system has been affected, dogs that survive are often left with uncontrollable muscle jerking or epileptic type seizures that remain for life. There are many animals that can be infected by the distemper virus including raccoons and ferrets.
H=Hepatitis. Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH) is a viral disease that attacks the liver in dogs. Other organs of the body that may be affected include the kidneys and eyes. The severity of this disease can vary from a mild illness that is hardly noticed to a severe disease that can kill. It can be difficult to diagnose ICH because the first signs are so vague. Initial signs include fever, anorexia, increased thirst and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and mouth. Laboratory tests are often needed at this point to discover the cause. Later in the disease a blue haze is often seen within the eyes. In severe cases treatment entails hospitalization with intravenous fluids and various medications.
L=Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that mainly attacks the kidneys, liver and nervous system. The bacteria are transmitted through the urine and can be contagious to many animals and people. Laboratory tests and culturing the urine are often needed to diagnose 'lepto'. Hospitalization is often needed for treatment.
P=Parainfluenza. Parainfluenza is one of the many viruses in the respiratory complex that causes kennel cough. Please see our information article on kennel cough.
P=Parvo. Please see our information article on Parvo.
C=Corona. Canine Coronavirus is an intestinal disease. Signs include vomiting, watery diarrhea and lethargy that can last up to 10 days. The danger of coronavirus infections is its ability to dehydrate the dog, which can lead to death. Often hospitalizations with intravenous fluids are needed for treatment. The disease is transmitted by the fecal material if infected dogs and is highly contagious.
Please let me reiterate that this vaccine is very important and should be started early in puppies and given every year to adult dogs.
And remember, if you have any questions give us a call.