What's in a Dog Vaccine?
Viral diseases of all sorts may not become eradicated, but only are held at bay by widespread use of vaccinations. Cases of human measles and chicken pox have been on the upswing in recent years, and we see the same in veterinary medicine with outbreaks of Parvovirus and Rabies. Many of the diseases we prevent with proper vaccination are life threatening, and very costly to treat, in terms of both money and animal suffering. Doesn’t it make sense to vaccinate instead?
At Cascade Animal Clinic clinic your dog would receive a 4 in 1 vaccination called a “DHPP”. It is composed of:
(D) Distemper: Canine Distemper Virus attacks the intestines, lungs and brain, and is usually fatal.
(H) Hepatitis: A viral disease that causes severe liver damage.
(P) Parainfluenza: A viral cause of Kennel Cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease.
(P) Parvovirus: A highly contagious and severe intestinal disease causing profuse vomiting and bloody diarrhea that is often fatal in untreated dogs.
The DHPP vaccine is given every 3 weeks until your puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. After the yearly booster, this vaccine is given every 3 years.
Your dog would also receive a “Rabies” vaccine. Rabies is a fatal disease of the brain and nerves that can affect most mammals, including man. The virus is spread by bite wounds from an infected animal. Because of the risk of this disease to people, an unvaccinated pet that bites a human may be put to death to be tested for rabies. Your pup’s first Rabies vaccine will be good for one year; the subsequent vaccines are required every three years.
Your dog might also receive a vaccination for Leptosporosis. Lepto is a bacterial infection carried in the kidneys of infected wildlife such as raccoons, possums, and deer. When the animal urinates, the bacteria can contaminate standing water puddles. When your dog drinks from the puddle, he might contract Lepto. Lepto causes kidney and liver disease, and can be spread to humans as well. If you live on acreage, take your dog hiking, or have standing water in your yard, this vaccine is recommended. Your dog would receive an initial vaccine, then a booster in 3 weeks, then once a year thereafter.
If you board, show, or have your dog groomed, we recommend vaccinating him for “Bordetella Bronchiseptica”, which is a bacterial form of “Kennel Cough”. It causes respiratory disease. After the initial puppy vaccination, this vaccine is given yearly.
A new vaccine is available for the H3N2 Influenza Virus, or Dog Flu. This virus caused flu like symptoms in many dogs in Chicago, and was responsible for a small outbreak in a Kent boarding kennel in Dec 2015. We recommend this vaccine for mainly traveling dogs that are going to be exposed to many dogs at once, such as show dogs, board and train, or in some cases boarding near where an outbreak has occurred. This vaccine is an initial series of 2 vaccines 3 weeks apart, and in dogs 8 weeks or older. Revaccination is yearly.
Some people travel to eastern Washington in the summer months, into areas where rattlesnakes live. We have a vaccine that helps protect your dog against the venom of Western Rattlesnakes. Vaccinated dogs experience less pain, and have a reduced risk of permanent injury form a rattlesnake bite. Dogs receive 2 vaccinations, 1 month apart initially, then once to twice a year depending on their risk. For more information, please click this link:
The timing of vaccination in young dogs is critical. A dog’s immune system will not respond to a vaccination until all the immunity that was received from the mom through her first milk is gone. The maternal immunity to each disease is variable, so vaccines are given in series to maximize your pup’s protection. The number and timing will vary slightly depending on the age of your pup at first vaccination. Cascade Animal Clinic's recommended protocol is as follows:
6 weeks: DHPP
9 weeks: DHPP
12 weeks: DHPP and Bordetella, and Lepto
16 weeks: DHLPP, Rabies, and Lepto