Listed below are the diseases dogs and puppies are commonly vaccinated against. Distemper – Symptoms of this deadly disease include discharge from the eyes and nose, high fever, and convulsions.
- Distemper – is spread by contact with bodily secretions of infected animals and by airborne viral particles. A dog that does not die from central nervous system complications may suffer a lifetime of neurological problems.
- Hepatitis – Hepatitis is a highly contagious virus spread by either direct contact with an infected animal or contact with contaminated objects such as food bowls and feces. Hepatitis affects the liver and kidneys causing fever, lethargy, decreased appetite and jaundice. There is no cure for canine hepatitis. Although a dog may recover from the disease, it may be left with serious organ damage.
- Leptospirosis – This disease is caused by an organism called a spirochete. It is transmitted by contact with the urine of an infected host. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, and joint pain. The organism reproduces in the kidneys of its host, leading to eventual kidney failure. This disease is contagious to humans also, producing the same symptoms seen in canines.
- Parainfluenza – Although usually not life-threatening, this highly contagious disease causes upper-respiratory distress. The parainfluenza virus is contracted by direct contact or airborne transmission. It is frequently contracted at kennels, grooming facilities, and dog shows. When parainfluenza works in combination with the Bordatella bronchisepticum bacteria, a disease commonly known as Kennel cough can develop. Kennel cough is characterized by serious nasal secretion, coughing, and fever.
- Parvo – The parvo virus is transmitted through the feces of infected dogs. It is easily spread by the hair and feet of infected dogs, contaminated cages, and people’s shoes. The parvo virus attacks the intestinal lining, causing it to slough off. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea is often fluid and bloody. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance occur quickly in a dog with parvo. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream through the weakened intestinal lining causing septicemia, or blood infection. Puppies under six months of age are especially susceptible to this fatal disease.
- Corona – The corona virus usually presents as a mild version of parvo. Although most dogs respond to treatment, Corona can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea.
- Rabies – Rabies is a very serious disease transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, usually through a bite wound. Although any mammal can contract rabies, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and bats are the main reservoirs of the disease. Rabies affects the central nervous system, producing symptoms such as erratic behavior, aggression, seizures, inability to swallow, and paralysis of the jaw and throat. Eventually paralysis spreads to other parts of the body and the animal enters a coma and dies. This fatal disease is contagious to humans so it is very important to vaccinate yearly for rabies. It is Georgia law that all dogs, cats, and ferrets receive a yearly rabies vaccine.
- Bordatella – Bordatella, or Kennel Cough, occurs when the parainfluenza virus and the bacteria Bordatella bronchiseptica work together. Your dog does not have to visit a kennel to contract bordatella. It can be transmitted through the air or by any object an infected dog has come in contact with. The vaccine is administered as nasal drops that can protect your dog for a year from the dry cough and nasal discharge that characterizes bordatella.
- Lyme – Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks that attach themselves to a dog. A tick must remain attached to a dog’s skin for two days in order to transmit Lyme disease. Symptoms include swollen lymph glands, lameness, inflamed joints, loss of appetite, heart disease, and kidney disease. The Lyme vaccine is suggested for those dogs that live in areas in which the disease is endemic.
The six vaccines above are commonly combined and given as one. This combination of vaccines is frequently referred to as the Distemper combination. It is also known as DHLPPC for the first letter of each disease it protects against.