Required Vaccinations: Rabies, Bordetella and DA2PP
Rabies vaccinations are required by law; they’re first administered between ages 3 months to 6 months. Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death. The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months; however, this time period can vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel along nerves to reach the central nervous system.
Bordetella (a.k.a. Kennel Cough)
Kennel cough, the common name given to infectious canine tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. As the name suggests, it is typified by inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. This disease is found throughout the world and is known to infect a high percentage of dogs at least once during their lifetime. It is also sometimes referred to as bordetellosis.
Young puppies often suffer the most severe complications that can result from this disease since they have immature immune systems. Also at increased risk are older dogs, who may have decreased immune capabilities, pregnant bitches, who also have lowered immunity, and dogs with preexisting respiratory diseases.
“DA2PP” is a combination vaccine for your dog that protects against four primary canine diseases — Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus. Because these diseases can be deadly and do not have cures, regular vaccination is recommended to reduce your fur-baby’s risk.
What is DA2PP?
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral illness similar to the measles in humans. Your dog can contract the virus through direct contact with an infected animal or through indirect contact such as with bedding or food bowls used by infected animals or wildlife feces. Symptoms include a high fever, weakness, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, it attacks the nervous system and may cause seizures and paralysis. In certain strains of distemper, hardening of the foot pads may occur. The severity of the disease depends on the strain and the age of the dog. For adult dogs, the mortality rate is less than 50 percent. For puppies, however, the mortality rate is as high as 80 percent.
Adenovirus-2 and Parainfluenza
Adenovirus-2 and parainfluenza are two different viruses that can play roles in kennel cough. So can the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. Symptoms include loud coughs, runny noses and mucus discharge, wheezing and decreased appetite. No treatment is available for the viral infections. Antibiotics and cough suppressants treat secondary bacterial infections and treat symptoms.
Parvovirus is a fast-acting virus with a high mortality rate. The virus can survive in the environment for up to a year, so just a simple walk around the block is enough for your dog to contract the virus when he stops to sniff where another dog may have been. Symptoms begin with a loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. A strong, distinctive odor is present; the stool may contain mucus or blood. Puppies are more commonly affected and are at higher risk of mortality, though parvovirus can affect dogs of any age. There is no cure, but early treatment with intravenous fluids increases the chance of survival. With most cases, the survival rate is 70 percent.