Article Editor

Vaccinations- Dogs

Vaccinations for our canine companions is a very important part of any health care plan for pets and people alike. Vaccines provide your dog with protection against many serious diseases; some that can be fatal and some that can be transmitted to humans.

The following outlines vaccinations we may administer, the diseases they prevent and in some cases our experience of the associated disease here in the GVRD:

  • Rabies (3 Year Vaccine): Rabies is a highly fatal virus that causes neuological disease in affected animals. Dogs, cats, bats, skunks, raccoons and many other animals can get this disease. Humans can become infected and die from this disease as well. In British Columbia, the primary source of rabies is bats and we definitely have bats in Vancouver!
  • DA2PP (3 Year Vaccine): 
    • D= Canine Distemper: Symptoms of the distemper virus begin with eye and nasal discharge, fever, poor appetite, coughing and the development of pneumonia. The virus then causes vomiting and diarrhea, callousing of the nose and foot pads. The virus finally proceeds to the central nervous system leading to seizures, tremors, imbalance and limb weakness. Distemper can be fatal. 
    • A= Canine Adenovirus: Canine Adenovirus Type 1 causes canine hepatitis. The virus invades the liver, causing damage and sometimes uncontrolled bleeding in the liver and often acute death due to shock. Symptoms include fever, lethargy, tonsillitis, abdominal swelling and pain, and loss of appetite. In severe acute cases, death can occur in 1-2 days. If dogs can survive the initial few days, they should recover and have lifelong immunity.
    • P= Canine Parvovirus: Parvo is highly contagious and generally presents with severe vomiting and diarrhea, severe dehydration, loss of appetite and weakness. The diarrhea is frequent, uncontrolled, very liquid and often laced with blood. Death occurs in 60% or more of affected individuals. There are many cases of Parvovirus seen every year in the Vancouver area.
    • P= Canine Parainfluenza: This is another highly contagious disease that is part of the Canine Cough complex. If you read the information on Canine Cough (below), you'll get a great idea of what problems this virus causes.
  • Canine Kennel Cough Vaccine (Annual Vaccine): Vancouver is a dog-friendly city and any dog that goes to parks, kennels, daycares, groomers or interacts with other dogs should be vaccinated annually. Canine cough is characterized by a harsh, hacking cough. It is an airbourne, highly contagious disease. Some dogs get better without treatment, but some dogs may develop pneuomonia without antibiotics.
  • Leptospirosis (Annual Vaccine): This vaccine is highly recommended for any dog that has access to stagnant water (puddles, slow moving water, ditches). The symptoms of this disease are vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, dehydration, lethargy and fever. The Leptospirosis bacteria cause liver and kidney failure and those affected often die. This disease can be transmitted to humans. There are generally a few dozen cases a year in GVRD. While Pacific Spirit Park is a beautiful place to walk dogs, it is also a source for leptospirosis.

There are other vaccinations available for dogs beyond those discussed above and we are happy to help you determine if they would be helpful for your pet.