As your local vet will recommend, keeping up to date with your dog’s vaccinations is essential. One combination vaccination that’s essential is the DHLPPC vaccine. It can help fight off many diseases and even kennel cough with few vaccine reactions. Here are the diseases this vaccine protects against:
Canine distemper is a relative of the measles virus that affects humans. This virus is spread through the air and through direct and indirect contact. It starts out attacking the dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes where it incubates for about a week. Then, it moves on ultimately affecting the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems.
Symptoms initially present almost like a cold with reddened eyes and discharge from the nose and eyes accompanied by a high fever. Next, the virus progresses and the dog becomes lethargic and loses its appetite. Next is the development of persistent coughing along with possible diarrhea and vomiting.
As the virus progresses, it moves into the brain and nervous system causing seizures, paralysis, and possibly hysteria. The pads on the dog’s paws can start to harden as well. In dogs with a weak immune system, death can come in as little as two weeks.
The main thing to keep in mind about distemper is that it’s incredibly contagious and has no cure. Young puppies, older dogs, and those who haven’t been vaccinated are at high risk for catching the disease.
Hepatitis in dogs is similar to hepatitis in humans. It’s a long-term, ongoing inflammation of the liver that leads to hardening, fibrosis, and scarring. Some breeds such as Bedlington terriers and cocker spaniels are biologically prone to hepatitis due to inherited copper-storage disease of the liver. It can also be caused by other infectious diseases attacking the liver, toxins, drugs, and environmental factors.
Symptoms of hepatitis include lack of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, jaundice in the gums and eyes, fluid distension in the abdomen, excessive thirst, and urination, and, in the latter stages, seizures or malaise as ammonia starts to build up in the blood.
Treatment varies according to severity but can include hospitalizations for IV hydration and vitamins and activity restrictions. The dog may need to take medication to get rid of excess fluid and get rid of excess ammonia. Dietary changes will be necessary, too, including low sodium and supplemental B vitamins. Your dog will have to eat multiple small meals a day and a feeding tube may be necessary.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that gets into the dog’s bloodstream through the skin. It’s more common in warm, wet climates like the tropics or in marshy, muddy areas with stagnant water. As it enters the bloodstream, it can get anywhere in a dog’s body. It affects the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, the eyes, and the reproductive system. It also stays in the kidneys for an extended period of time and can be fatal, in certain cases.
Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, sore muscles, a decline in activity, shivering, a depressed mood, a lack of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea that may contain blood, jaundice, difficulty in breathing, a runny nose, and swelling of the gums and lymph nodes.
In the early stages, treatment could involve hospitalized treatment for hydration, an antiemetic to stop vomiting, and a feeding tube if the dog refuses to eat. If there has been a lot of blood loss, a transfusion may also be necessary. Antibiotics are prescribed and vary depending on the stage of the illness. As long as treatment occurs and none of the dog’s organs are damaged, it’s likely the dog will survive.
This infection can be passed from dogs to humans and most commonly is passed to young children.
Parainfluenza is a respiratory infection that causes canine cough. Although their symptoms resemble one another, parainfluenza is not influenza which does require a different vaccine. Signs of parainfluenza are a dry or a moist cough, low-grade fever, nasal secretions, malaise, and a lack of appetite.
This virus is highly contagious and is transmitted through the air. It spreads particularly fast in kennels, shelter, and doggie daycares where there are a lot of animals kept in close quarters. It’s even possible to get it from visits to the dog groomers, dog parks, or playing with other dogs on a regular basis.
Parvovirus manifests in 2 ways. The intestinal form is most common and presents as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anorexia. The dog will quickly become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration are red and irritated mouth and eyes and a rapid heartbeat. There is no fever; in fact, the dog’s body temperature may be low. There’s also a less common cardiac form that attacks the heart muscles of puppies.
Parvovirus is spread through direct contact or contact with infected feces or saliva. It’s a particularly strong virus that can live in soil for up to a year and is only susceptible to bleach when you need to clean up an infected area.
There is no cure. Treatment focuses on curing the symptoms and preventing secondary infections. Recovery is often dependent on hospitalized care involving IV and nutrition therapy. This virus can be particularly hard on puppies that are more likely to suffer from shock and not recover.
Coronavirus is a highly contagious intestinal disease that’s specific to dogs. It’s unique in that it limits itself to the upper ⅔ of the small intestine and local lymph nodes. Alone, this is a pretty mild disease that most dogs will easily recover from. That said if it occurs in conjunction with parvovirus or any other GI illness, the results can be very serious.
The virus causes diarrhea and some mild respiratory problems. Dogs should be monitored to make sure they don’t suffer from dehydration, especially if it coincides with parvo or some other viral infection.