All puppies should have regular vaccinations to help build up and maintain their immunity against diseases that could otherwise make them sick. One of the vaccines that your dog will be offered will be the DHPP vaccine.
The DHPP vaccine is given over a series of shots so that your pup’s immunity can be built up slowly and safely. The first vaccine is usually given around 6 weeks of age, with further shots being given every 3-4 weeks until your puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. Following this, your dog should receive their first DHPP booster shot a year after their final DHPP puppy vaccine, and additional boosters every 3 years thereafter.
The DHPP vaccine is considered a core vaccination. This means that it is recommended for all dogs, regardless of their location or lifestyle. Here’s why your puppy needs to get this potentially life-saving vaccine.
The DHPP – sometimes referred to as the DAPP or DA2PP vaccine – is a crucial vaccination that protects dogs against four key and potentially deadly viral illnesses. These are:
Canine Distemper is a serious virus that affects your dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system. It is highly contagious and spread primarily through bodily fluids emitted by coughing and sneezing; however, it can also be transmitted by sharing food and water bowls, as well as other equipment with an infected animal.
One of the biggest issues with distemper is that infected dogs can transmit the virus for months. There is no cure for the infection, and treatment typically involves supportive care and management to try and prevent secondary infections.
Canine parvovirus is most commonly seen in puppies, but it can affect dogs of any age. It’s a highly contagious disease that is spread through fecal-oral contact, meaning it is spread in an infected dog’s stool. The virus can also survive in the outside environment for as long as 6 months.
Many dogs who are diagnosed with parvo will die. This is because the virus attacks the cells in your dog’s intestines, decreasing their ability to absorb vital nutrients. Over time, they will become increasingly weak and dehydrated until they die. There is no cure for the virus; treatment is supportive and often involves hospitalization for intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Vaccination is the only way to protect your puppy.
Canine adenovirus-2 contributes to a common condition called kennel cough in dogs. While kennel cough itself isn’t deadly, it is highly contagious and can make dogs quite unwell. However, canine adenovirus-2 is also closely related to canine adenovirus-1, which is a virus that can cause a potentially fatal liver infection in dogs. Vaccination puppies against adenovirus-2 also protects them against adenovirus-1 and infectious canine hepatitis – the mortality rate of which is highest in puppies.
Canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that causes a range of unpleasant symptoms. The virus most often develops in situations where large groups of dogs are close together for some time, such as in kennels. It’s transmitted through contact with bodily fluids from an infected dog, including equipment that may have been exposed to their bodily fluids.
Although some dogs may recover from the virus without medication, most will require antibiotics and antiviral medications to enable them to recover. Many dogs suffer from long term health complications as a result of contracting canine parainfluenza.
For more information about the DHPP vaccine, or to schedule an appointment to discuss puppy vaccinations, please contact Springwood Veterinary Hospital in Spring, Texas at (281) 370-3262.