Vaccines For Your Dog

Routine vaccines for your dog include Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluensa and Rabies. Optional vaccines include Bordetella, Lymes disease and Leptospirosis. 

Distemper a viral disease of domestic dogs. It is a highly contagious, often fatal, multi-systemic disease that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. Distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV) and spread mainly by direct contact between to dogs. Coughing and sneezing can spread the virus over short distances.

Adenovirus is the cause of a viral infection called Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH) which is in short, inflammation of the liver. It can cause a wide array of clinic symptoms from nasal discharge to vomiting and will often lead to death. The hepatitis virus is present in the urine or in the nose and eye discharges of infected animals; dogs are at risk when in contact with these bodily fluids.

Parvovirus is a deadly virus that affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. The clinical symptoms are severe vomiting and diarrhea. The main cause for contraction of the virus is when a dog is in contact with an infected dogs’ fecal matter.

Parainfluensa is a deadly contagious virus of the upper respiratory tract in dogs. Symptoms include depression, lethargy, difficulty breathing and death. Contraction of the virus is though interaction with and infected dog.

Rabies is a deadly virus affecting mammals including dogs and humans. It is contracted when one infected animal bites another. Clinical signs vary but can be displayed as agitation and possibly aggression and will usually lead to a deadly seizure. Rabies can also cause complete paralysis and eventually coma. Rabies is the only vaccine required by government law and mandatory in order to have a licensed animal.

Bordetella is a contagious viral infection of dogs located in the windpipe and bronchial tubes. It is more generally referred to as “Kennel Cough”, as it is most commonly contracted when dogs are in boarding kennels. Symptoms usually present as a cough but are often accompanied by runny eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing respiration, lack of appetite and depressed behavior. Bordetella is not a required vaccine however, it is a mandatory vaccine required by boarding kennels, training schools and some groomers. It is also recommended to owners of dogs who interact with many other dogs, though it is not a regular vaccine and only given upon request.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs and other mammals that can severely affect the function of the liver and kidneys and may even lead to death. Leptospira bacteria are carried mainly by rats and other rodents, but can also affect almost any mammalian species, including dogs and people. Infected or recovered “carrier” dogs can also act as a source of infection. Ingestion of infected urine or rodent-contaminated garbage is the most common means of transmission. Though not a regular vaccine it is given upon request and recommended to owners who live near ponds or rivers.

Lymes disease is a bacterial disease that can affect both dogs and people. It is carried by certain kinds of ticks and is transferred when a tick bites a host and the bacteria are transferred into the blood. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, depression and sudden onset of pain and lameness (lack of ability to walk). Though not routinely given due to a lack of cases in our area, the Lymes vaccine is recommended to people traveling to South Western Ontario, up state New York or Maine and those who commonly venture into forested areas.