Canine Distemper is a viral disease that is transmitted by aerosol droplets and from all body excretions of infected animals. Clinical signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Puppies are the most susceptible to the disease and also have the highest mortality rate from severe cases or complications from the disease. Vaccination is recommended in all puppies and is typically started at 6-8 weeks of age with boosters administered every 3-4 weeks until 16-18 weeks of age. Yearly vaccination is usually recommended in adult dogs.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis
This disease, which primarily affects the liver of dogs, is caused by Canine Adenovirus (CAV). Puppies are first vaccinated for CAV at 6-8 weeks of age and given boosters every 3-4 weeks. Yearly vaccination is recommended for adult dogs.
Commonly referred to as “kennel cough”, this is actually a complex of diseases with multiple possible causes. Infectious tracheobronchitis can be caused by viral infections (canine parainfluenza) as well as bacterial infections (Bordetella). Vaccination for this disease is recommended for puppies and every 6-12 months in adult dogs.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by Leptospira, which is a type of bacteria called a spirochete. This disease can affect the liver and/or kidneys of dogs resulting in liver failure, kidney failure or both. The most common method of exposure is through contact with infected urine. A canine Leptospirosis vaccine is available for at-risk dogs but this vaccine is not routinely administered to all dogs.
This disease is caused by Canine Parvovirus. It is highly contagious and transmitted by direct or indirect contact with contaminated feces. Typical clinical signs include vomiting and diarrhea. Vaccination is highly recommended and is given in a series starting when the puppy is 6-8 weeks old. Because canine parvovirus is endemic in our area, yearly vaccination of adult dogs is recommended.
Rabies is a viral disease that is spread via contact with saliva from an infected animal. All warm-blooded animals are susceptible to Rabies virus. Because of the public health significance of this disease, all puppies should receive a Rabies vaccine at 12-16 weeks of age. Adult dogs should receive yearly vaccination. There is also a vaccine available that can be given to dogs every 3 years.
Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks serve as the primary vector of Lyme disease. in some areas of the US, Lyme Disease is very common, however this disease is not considered to be endemic to our area at this time. There is a vaccine available for dogs but this vaccine is not routinely given to all dogs in our region of the country.