Our records indicate it's time for your dog or puppy to receive a DHP-Parvo vaccine. What's this? Alphabet soup? Actually, it's veterinary "shorthand" for a very important vaccine for dogs and puppies:
· "D" stands for Canine Distemper Virus, a highly contagious and commonly fatal infection that causes pneumonia, gastroenteritis, and encephalitis/seizures. Distemper used to wipe out entire kennels and litters of puppies. Now, thanks to good vaccines, it is a disease of unowned or neglected dogs only.
· "H" stands for Infectious Canine Hepatitis, a contagious and commonly fatal infection that causes acute liver failure and corneal lesions. Again, thanks to good vaccines, ICH is very uncommon.
· "P" stands for Parainfluenza virus, one of the common components of Infectious Tracheobronchitis or "Kennel Cough." All dogs are at risk of exposure to Kennel Cough if they are boarded, groomed, go to the park, go for walks, or live where there are neighboring dogs.
· "Parvo" stands for Canine Parvovirus Enteritis, a highly contagious and usually fatal viral infection of the digestive tract. It causes severe vomiting and foul, bloody diarrhea. Parvo first appeared in 1978; it was a dreaded scourge of all dog owners and breeders until reliable vaccines were developed in the late 1980's.
Wow! That one vaccine packs a powerful punch!
You may read on the Internet about the debate on how often to vaccinate your adult dog for DHLP-Parvo. The debate ranges from vaccinating for everything every year to not vaccinating at all after a certain age. The doctors of Windmill Animal Hospital believe neither extreme is correct; vaccinating every year is simply not necessary, and not vaccinating at all can be very dangerous. Pet owners in Norway quit vaccinating their adult dogs for DHP-Parvo in the mid to late 1990's; consequently, the dogs of Norway had to endure a pandemic of Canine Distemper recently.
The doctors of Windmill Animal Hospital recommend administering the DHLP-Parvo vaccination with the following schedule:
· at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age for all puppies
· repeat 1 year later
· repeat every three years after that
High-risk dogs (show dogs, search & rescue dogs, obedience dogs, agility dogs) may need vaccinating annually while competing.