The Bordetella vaccine is a preventative for Kennel Cough. Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is easily passed amongst dogs and cats in kennels, boarding facilities, dog parks, day camps, and out in the neighborhood. In general, most boarding facilities will require your dog to have a Bordetella vaccine in order for you to board or leave your dog.

This is a contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (large air passages of the lungs). The most common sign of kennel cough is harsh, dry cough that is often followed by gagging and coughing up foamy mucus. The disease spreads rapidly from one dog to another through the air and direct contact. In severe cases, or when left untreated, the virus can turn into broncheophenmonia which could potentially lead to death; especially in young puppies.

Puppies should receive their first Bordetella vaccination when they are eight-weeks-old with a second vaccination at 13 weeks of age. After the first the year, it is recommended to administer a booster every 6 to 12 months; especially if they are in frequent contact with other dogs.


DHPP stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza because the vaccination is generally combined with a vaccine for canine parvovirus as well for parainfluenza, adenovirus 2 (Hepatitis). The two most significant components of the DHPP shot are the Parvovirus and the Distemper as both of these viruses usually lead to death, especially in puppies.

Parvovirus causes vomiting and bloody diarrhea and Distemper causes flu-like symptoms which lead to severe neurological issues such as seizures. Due to the fatal nature of these diseases, the distemper shot is considered an essential vaccine for dogs.

Puppies should begin their distemper vaccinations between age 6 to 8 weeks of age, and then every 2 to 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. The next vaccine is administered one year later. After the initial vaccinations, boosters are administered every 1 to 3 years, depending on their antibody levels and the policies of the supervising animal hospital.


Rabies is caused by an RNA virus transmitted through direct contact with infected mammals (primarily bite wounds). The Rabies virus attacks the brain and is most often fatal. If a dog is due for rabies or if this is the first vaccine, the animal is not considered fully immunized for 29 days.

The Rabies vaccine should be boostered within one year following the initial Rabies vaccination. Once this second Rabies vaccine has been administered, dogs should receive Rabies vaccines every three years unless regulations in the community demand otherwise.


The transmission of the Leptospirosis infection is usually acquired through contact with soil, food, water, bedding, and other fomites that have been contaminated with infected urine. The bacteria is most commonly found in soil that is moist and has a neutral pH, as well as in stagnant or slow-moving warm water. Water is most often contaminated from the urine of infected animals, as the bacteria may shed in the urine for months after an infection.

The infection spreads to a variety of tissues, including the kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, the central nervous system, genital tract, and eyes. The bacteria commonly localizes in the kidneys, causing impaired renal function. Acute nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) develops and may progress to chronic renal failure.

Leptospirosis does occur in people and contaminated urine may be highly infectious. When treating ill animals and cleaning cages or utensils used on those animals, gloves should be worn. Goggles and protective facemasks are beneficial while washing and hosing contaminated areas. Absorbent bedding should be handled carefully with gloves and then discarded. Pet owners should be warned of the possible health hazards to humans and other animals from dogs that are actively infected, as well as from carrier animals.


Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs after a tick attaches, and begins to feed on the dog’s blood. If the tick is removed from the dog’s skin within the first 12 hours of feeding, the there is little risk of infection. However, after 12 hours, the risk of infection increases significantly, especially if the tic has been feeding for a prolonged period of time.

Lyme disease can cause an inflammatory condition of the joints, heart, central nervous system, and other tissues. Recurrent episodes can result in chronic disease and arthritis. The best form of Lyme disease prevention is through annual vaccinations. It is recommended to administer the Lyme vaccine prior to tick season.

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