The initials DHPP refer to the
diseases included in the vaccine.
Commonly called the canine distemper vaccine, this is the
most common combination vaccine given to dogs.
Some combinations, such as DHLPP, DHLPPC,
DA2LPPC, 6-Way, and 7-Way or 7-in-1, also include protection against
corona virus and the bacteria leptospirosis.
Corona virus is a disease
that affects only young puppies and causes gastro-intestinal upset. It
is not considered an essential vaccine. There is typically not a
reason to include corona in the DHPP vaccine.
The 2 most important components of this vaccine are distemper and parvo.
Distemper causes flu-like symptoms (runny nose, fever) initially
and results in severe neurological symptoms (such as pain when touched
and seizures), and often ends in death. Due to the deadly course of
distemper, it is considered an essential vaccine for dogs.
causes vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea quickly turns bloody. With
immediate hospitalization and intensive care (sometimes including blood
and plasma transfusions), some dogs do survive. Parvo is a very serious
disease and often results in death, especially in young puppies.
How can my dog contract parvo and distemper?
Parvo is contracted by contact with the virus. Most
commonly the virus is shed in the stool of an infected dog. The virus is
extremely hardy. It can survive in grass and on other surfaces for
years. Distemper is airborne like the common cold. It can be passed by
being around another dog who is sneezing, sharing a bowl with an
infected dog, or being kenneled near an infected dog.
Does my dog need a DHPP vaccine?
Giving a distemper/parvo combination vaccine is essential
for the health of puppies. Shortly after puppies are born, they receive
immunity to many diseases from their mother’s milk (called colostrum).
As the puppy matures, this immunity fades.
age should I Vaccinate my Puppy against Distemper and Parvo? DHPP
Typically between 6-10 weeks
vaccination with a combination vaccine should begin. Some toy breed dogs
may not start vaccinations until 12 weeks of age due to their small
size. Puppies should receive a vaccine every 3 weeks until they are 16
weeks of age. The final vaccine should be given at or after 16 weeks of
age for ideal protection. A minimum of 2 vaccines must be given to
puppies for the best protection. Depending on when the puppy’s vaccine
series begins, they may receive 2-4 vaccinations in total.
For adult dogs, consideration should be give to the dog’s risk level
of being exposed to distemper and parvo when deciding on adult boosters.
Discuss with your veterinarian the number of cases they see. Checking
with local shelters and rescue groups can also be helpful. If these
diseases are not common in your area, booster vaccines may be given less
often than if your dog is often exposed to these diseases. Dogs that
frequent dog parks, dog shows, boarding facility, and day-care facilities
may also be at increase risk.
I recommend that all dogs receive a distemper/parvo booster 1 year
after completion of their puppy series. After that, extremely low risk
dogs may be tittered annually (refer to the discussion of vaccine titers
under the rabies vaccine) or as recommended by their veterinarian.
Animals that are at risk may be vaccinated every 3 years following the
initial 1 year booster. For animals that fall in the middle, consider
vaccinating every 3-5 years. As always, discuss your dog’s risk level
with your veterinarian.