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DHPP Vaccination for Dogs

Dhpp Vaccination



What is the DHPP vaccine

The initials DHPP refer to the diseases included in the vaccine.
1. Distemper
2. Hepatitis
3. Parvo
4. Parainfluenza

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.

Leptospirosis should never be given in combination with other vaccines. (See Leptospirosis article)

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.

Click here for Distemper  Symptoms, treatment and prognosis

Parvo virus 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.

At what age should I Vaccinate my Puppy against Distemper and Parvo? DHPP Vaccine

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.


NEXT:   Kennel Cough Vaccine

Other Vaccines:  Leptospirosis Vaccine -Lyme Disease Vaccine - Rabies Vaccine

About Dog Vaccinations

Distemper - Symptoms, treatment and prognosis

Kennel Cough - Symptoms and Treatment 



Author: Jackie Nelson


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