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Canine Core and Non-Core Vaccines Explained

We follow the AAHA vaccine protocol.


Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog's exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella (kennel cough,) Influenza, Lyme and Leptospira bacteria.


Core Vaccines

Rabies: Rabies is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from an infected animal. The primary way the rabies virus is transmitted to dogs in the United States is through a bite from wild animals like foxes, raccoons, skunks and bats that carry the disease. It is fatal and transmittable to humans.

DAPP: (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza) Canine Distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Infectious canine hepatitis is a viral disease of that is caused by the canine Adenovirus CAV-1, a type of DNA virus that causes upper respiratory tract infections. This virus targets the functional parts of the organs, notably the liver, kidneys, eyes and endothelial cells (the cells that line the interior surface of the blood vessels). Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. Dogs that are ill from canine parvovirus infection are often said to have "parvo." The virus affects dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments, or people. Parvovirus symptoms include severe bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, severe weight loss. Parainfluenza is a virus that causes kennel cough. It is highly contagious and commonly develops in situations where a lot of dogs are in close proximity to each other. Canine parainfluenza is a respiratory virus and one of the many viruses that can cause kennel cough in dogs.



Non-Core Vaccines

Influenza: Canine influenza (also known as dog flu) is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by specific Type A influenza viruses known to infect dogs. These are called “canine influenza viruses.” There are two different influenza A dog flu viruses: one is an H3N8 virus and the other is an H3N2 virus.

Bordetella: Bordetella is a very infectious, airborne upper respiratory virus. It is typically not life threatening but causes a dry cough that may last several weeks.

Lyme: Lyme disease in dogs is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world, but it only causes symptoms in 10 percent of affected dogs. When infection leads to Lyme disease in dogs, the dominant clinical feature is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints, and a general feeling of malaise. There may also be depression and a lack of appetite. More serious complications include damage to the kidneys, and rarely, heart or nervous system disease.

Leptospira (Leptospirosis): Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water from wildlife’s urine. There are many strains of Leptospira bacteria that can cause disease. Signs of leptospirosis may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes), or painful inflammation within the eyes. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people.

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