What are all these letters and vaccinations about anyway? DA2PPLCL... and on and on - what is my dog getting? Do they need these vaccinations? Read on, and we'll talk about all those letters.
First of all, yes, vaccinations are important. We prevent many diseases and deaths with good vaccination programs. Also, passing of contagious diseases (such as Rabies) to humans has been practically eliminated by effective vaccination programs.
Keep in mind though, as important as vaccinations are, many other diseases can and do affect our pets, so your #1 method of insuring a long and happy life for your pet is the annual wellness examination! Because our pets age 7 years for every one human year, annual physical examinations are extremely important!
Now, let's talk about the diseases we vaccinate for:
Distemper is a highly contagious and extremely serious viral disease. Although it is most commonly seen in younger dogs, dogs of all ages are susceptible if not vaccinated or immune. Common symptoms can include coughing, diarrhea vomiting, loss of appetite, and debilitation. Many dogs will show signs of eye and nasal discharges, pneumonia, and neurologic involvement (seizures and incoordination). There are no medications that are effective against viruses, and as many as 90% of ill dogs will not survive distemper. Vaccination starting at 5-6 weeks is vital in preventing this disease!
Parvovirus infection was first identified as a new disease in dogs in 1978. Also seen more frequently in younger dogs, the signs start as severe vomiting and diarrhea, often with blood. Secondary complications such as pneumonia and bacterial hepatitis complicate the disease. Although very expensive, hospitalization and treatment can result in a cure rate of over 95%. Early treatment is important. The newer, high-antigenic mass vaccinations (such as Progard by Intervet) have greatly helped us reduce the incidence of this very common and serious disease.
A2, or adenovirus-2 is the vaccine that prevents Infectious Canine Hepatitis. This is a canine viral disease (not contagious to humans), with symptoms such as fever, tonsillitis, glandular enlargement, and swollen and painful liver. Timely hospitalization will result in a cure most of the time.
Parainfluenza virus is a highly contagious respiratory virus that causes severe bronchitis and can progress to serious pneumonia. It is one of several viruses and bacteria that can be involved in kennel cough.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is bacteria that is also a common cause of kennel cough. Extremely infectious, it can result in couch, bronchitis, and pneumonia lasting for more than 3 weeks.
Rabies virus causes a neurological illness, in all warm-blooded mammals, that invariably is always fatal. In spite of excellent vaccination programs, we still see quite a few cases in dogs, cats, and other mammals (usually skunks, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes). Too often, humans are infected by these pets!
All of these potentially deadly diseases can be prevented by a proper and timely vaccination program.
Our current recommendations are:
||DA2PP and Bordetella
||DA2PP and Bordetella
||DA2PP and Rabies
|1 year later
||Annual Medical Exam
DA2PP, Rabies, and Bordetella
||Annual Medical Exam|
Boosters as Needed
Vaccination requirements may be different in different areas! Be sure to consult with, and follow the recommendations of your local Veterinarian!
Also very important are a thorough puppy examination, de-worming, and guidance regarding nutrition and training. So when you get that new puppy,
or to take good, loving care of your older dog, see your veterinarian every year!
Reprinted by permission of Kingman Animal Hospital