Dogs are susceptible to a wide variety of health conditions, many of which they encounter in the world around them. Active dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, which opens them up to contracting viral diseases, canine influenza, lyme disease, and canine parvovirus, among many others. However these conditions and many more can be prevented through vaccinations.
Many places in the country require dogs to be vaccinated before they can be licensed. Likewise, many kennels, groomers, and doggy daycares will only take in dogs that have been vaccinated.
Because it’s such a big deal, you should set up a vaccination schedule with your veterinarian, even if you’ve just rescued an adult dog. It’s never too late!
And one of the first vaccinations you will receive is the DHPP vaccine. In this post, we’re going to cover what the DHPP vaccine is and why you need to get it for your dog. Let’s dig right in!
What Is DHPP For Dogs?
The DHPP vaccine is one of the first vaccines that most dogs get when they are puppies, although adult dogs can get the vaccine as well.
DHPP is a combination vaccine that helps prevent four different viruses in dogs: canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. The DHPP vaccine is actually a series of vaccines that will be administered to your puppy three times while they are between six and 16 weeks old. After a year, they will be given another combination vaccine booster, and then additional shots every three years throughout their lives.
DHPP for dogs protects your dog against for major viruses.
A highly contagious virus with no cure, canine distemper is spread through the air by contact with an infected animal, and can be spread directly or indirectly. This is why it is so important to have your dog vaccinated against canine distemper.
Since there is no cure, dogs can only be treated to manage their symptoms once they have canine distemper. This will include IV fluids to assist with dehydration or medication to help with seizures in dogs. Healthy pets with weak strains of canine distemper can recover, although some of its effects can take months to fully go away. Other dogs that have more serious cases are not so lucky.
The virus typically starts in the tonsils and lymph nodes and moves from there to attack the respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. The early symptoms will include red eyes, a discharge from the nose and eyes, and a high fever. The dog may also have a persistent canine cough, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. If the disease progresses to the central nervous system, it will attack the brain and spinal cord, which can cause seizures and paralysis. It can even cause death within a few weeks of the onset of symptoms.
Canine adenovirus is a condition that begins as an upper respiratory infection and then moves to the functional parts of various organs, traveling from the tonsils to the bloodstream, eventually settling in the liver. The virus uses the dog’s own cells to quickly spread through the liver, and other organs too, including the kidney.
Healthy dogs should be able to get rid of the virus in a couple weeks, but it will stay in in the kidneys for up to nine months. Any unvaccinated dog that comes in close contact with the virus will be exposed to it, and if they can’t get rid of the virus on their own, they will develop chronic hepatitis. This will lead to eye injuries, where the front of the eye is inflamed and causes the well-known hepatitis blue eye.
Symptoms here can range from lethargy and loss of appetite to bleeding disorders, swollen lymph nodes, and more.
Parainfluenza is often mistaken for kennel cough, but it is actually quite different. Parainfluenza can bring along with it symptoms like fever , runny eyes, lethargy, and loss of appetite, whereas kennel cough is mainly just respiratory symptoms.
This virus is easily spread, especially in places with high canine populations, and is difficult for dogs to get rid of once they have it. Infected dogs are also at risk for developing pneumonia.
Parvovirus attacks in two ways: the gastrointestinal systems or cardiac muscles.
The gastrointestinal system is more common, with symptoms ranging from diarrhea and vomiting, to poor appetite and weight loss. Dogs will also quickly become dehydrated.
When it becomes more serious, parvovirus will affect the cardiac muscles of young puppies and can even cause death. This strikes as early as six weeks to six months old. Conveniently, this is the same period the vaccination should be given, which is why it works so well against parvovirus.
Why You Should Get The DHPP Vaccine For Your Dog
Since the above viruses can cause serious health issues and even death, it is imperative you get the DHPP vaccine for your dog. It can spare their life, and at the very least, avoid months of recovery and discomfort. It will also protect them against developing any of these conditions in the long term. If your dog has not received the DHPP vaccine, it’s time to talk to your veterinarian today.