What Do Vaccines Protect My Dog From?

Core Vaccines For Dogs 

These vaccinations are so important that we recommend them for every canine patient.

You hear us recommend different vaccines for your dog and here’s a list of vaccines and the diseases they prevent.  Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, there are a lot of diseases that they can be exposed to so make sure to keep them protected!


Rabies: Is a disease that can infect both animals and humans! For this reason, every state in the US has laws requiring that all dogs receive Rabies vaccinations and remain continuously vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian for their entire life.  The mortality rate for dogs and cats that contract the rabies virus is 100%, meaning every dog that contracts rabies and nearly 100% of humans that contract the rabies virus will die within 4-6 days.  This fact, along with the fact that rabies can be passed on to humans, is why the vaccine is mandatory by law.  Rabies is passed on when the saliva from a rabid animal gets into an open wound or the body’s soft, damp areas (eyes, nose or mouth). This usually occurs through a bite, open wound or scratch from the infected animal but can also be contracted by exposure through mucus membranes such as the gums of the mouth or the conjunctiva of the eyes.  There are many wild animals, (bats, racoons, skunks, foxes and opossums) that can carry the rabies virus. If rabies enters the body, it attacks the brain and spinal cord. There is no effective treatment for rabies. This is why it is so important to vaccinate your pet against this terrible disease.

DHPPV commonly called “distemper” protects your dog from several diseases:

D – Canine Distemper:   This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal, ophthalmic and nervous systems. It is mainly spread through the air by contaminated respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing). It can also be spread by contact with any other bodily secretions from an infected animal (urine and feces for example). This disease can be fatal. 

H – Canine Hepatitis:  This disease is caused by an Adenovirus so you may see "A2" instead of "H" in the abbreviation.  This virus is spread in a similar fashion to the distemper virus. Since this virus can live in the environment for a long time, you may bring the virus home to your dog without realizing it. This disease mainly affects the liver but it can also affect the kidneys and eyes.

P – Parainfluenza:  Another highly infectious virus that spreads quickly among dogs kept in close quarters and can seriously damage the respiratory system. This is part of the Kennel Cough Complex and is included in the DHPP vaccine as well as the Bordetella vaccine.

P – Parvo Virus:  An Intestinal virus that causes severe bloody diarrhea and vomiting. This virus can be found in the environment or in feces from infected dogs

V Just stands for vaccine.

Bordetella aka “Kennel Cough” Is a bacterial respiratory infection that is very contagious and causes a loud, “goose honk” cough.  Other symptoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing, lack of appetite and lethargy.  Although the coughing may be mild, it can persist for several weeks.  This infection spreads rapidly from dog to dog in close quarters such as a boarding kennel or doggy daycare.  “Kennel Cough” is very contagious, can be airborne and transmitted by casual contact such as sniffing, playing or sharing water dishes.

Non-Core Vaccines Recommended Depending On Your Dog’s Lifestyle

Leptospirosis:  Is a bacterial disease that can cause liver and kidney failure. This disease is contracted through contact with urine from raccoons, rodents, skunks and wildlife found in our backyards. This disease survives in moving or standing water or in soil for several weeks  We recommend this vaccine if your dog will be spending time in the woods, at dog parks or does any swimming.  This vaccine is available as a five-in-one vaccine with DHPPV requiring only injection.   

Canine Influenza:  Is a viral respiratory disease that can cause coughing, fever, sneezing and lethargy.  This virus became prominent after a recent (2014) outbreak in a Chicago boarding facility and has spread nationwide.  Because of the severity and swiftness of how this disease can be spread, many boarding kennels are now requiring the influenza vaccine for boarding.

Lyme:  Lyme disease is a bacterial disease that is spread through the bite of an infected tick and is prevalent in our area.  If we have recommended the Leptospirosis vaccine for your pet we would recommend getting a lyme vaccine as well because exposure points for this disease are essentially the same.  Along with the Lyme Disease vaccine, making sure you are using tick preventative medications like Nexgard along with doing regular checks of your dog’s skin for ticks is the best protection for your dog from contracting a tick-borne disease.  The Lyme vaccine comes as a two-in-one vaccination with Leptospirosis requiring only one injection.

One Other Important Prevention

Heartworm Disease:  Is a parasitic disease that is transmitted by mosquitos and can infect dogs, cats and ferrets.  When an infected mosquito bites a pet, the disease is transmitted, and a worm matures that lives in the heart.  This can cause severe heart and respiratory disease, coughing, and death.  Heartworm disease can be easily prevented by administering a once a month heartworm preventative year-round.  Although Heartworm Disease is easy to prevent, it is not an easy disease to treat, requiring expensive, painful injections and a minimum of 6 months (yes, 6 months!) of strict cage rest. 


Our location and directions to our clinic

Office Hours

Due to staffing shortages, medical questions and prescription refills called in after 12pm on Friday cannot be processed until the following Monday.

Healthy Pet Veterinary Clinic


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8am-Noon Open As Normal / Noon-4p No doctor in the clinic, but we are open for boarding admits and previously processed medication refill pickup.






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