Canine Vaccines

Learn all about your canine vaccinations by Anecia Davis


Your pets immune system is a lot like ours. The immune system must detect pathogens and distinguish them from your canines healthy tissue.

What is a Vaccine?

A vaccine is a substance that your local veterinarian uses to give your pet immunity to certain viruses. There are two types of immunity modified live and killed. Modified live has altered antigens so that your animal does not get the virus. The pathogens are weakened but they can still divide. A booster can be given but is not mandatory. Killed contains killed pathogens whIch can no longer divide. If your pet receives the killed form of the vaccine you must take it back to get a booster.

The All-in-One Vaccine


A few signs that your dog may have distemper are: gooey eyes, nasal discharge, callusing of the nose and some may experience seizures. Along with these, they will also experience the common cold symptoms like a fever, poor appetite, vomiting and feeling very lethargic. This is a core vaccine.


Along with distemper your dog will receive a vaccination for a virus called Parvo. This virus is highly contagious and is spread by coming in contact with an infected dogs feces. The most common symptoms are bloody diarrhea, fever, and a low white blood cell count. Veterinarians also keep an eye out for dehydration. This is a core vaccine.

Adenovirus 2

Your dog may have this disease if you notice a dry cough and/or white foam in the mouth. Dogs can receive this disease by staying in a kennel near other dogs who are coughing or they can simply come in contact with infected mucus. Now, no need to worry this is easily treatable. This is a core vaccine.


This is your typical flu in canines. Dogs who have this usually have a very dry, unproductive cough. Just like Adenovirus 2 this is spread by being around other dogs who are infected and are continuously coughing. Typically, the veterinarian treats this with an antitussive. This is a core vaccine.

Vaccines Given Individually


Unlike the diseases above, this is zoonotic. Zoonotic means that the disease can be transferred from an animal to a human. You or your pet can receive this disease from coming in contact with saliva from an infected animal. Signs of rabies are foaming of the mouth, being very lethargic and in some cases aggressive. Unfortunately, this disease is incurable. The disease is fatal due to the fact that it attacks the nervous system. This is a core vaccine.


Bordetella is also known as "Kennel Cough". This vaccine Is typically given to pets that spend a lot of time at boarding kennels or that participate in dog shows. It is difficult to diagnose due to the fact that the major symptom is coughing. Your pet can receive this disease from other dogs in the kennel by being around them while coughing or coming in contact with discharge. Bordetella can be treated by giving your pet an antitussive prescribed by your local veterinarian. This is a non-core vaccine.


Leptospira is also known as Lepto. Typically, this is common in animals and people who are around lakes or ponds where cattle or wild life enter the water often. For instance, if you were duck hunting and your dog were to retrieve the duck out of the water, if the water were infected it Is likely that they just received the disease. Unless you participate in those kinds of activities, it is less likely for your pet to contract this disease. This disease has one thing in common with rabies; it's zoonotic. Your dog may experience some joint pain, a fever, lameness, and depression. Lepto is treatable with some antibiotics like penicillin or tetracycline. In order to give your pet the best protection from this disease, it is best to give them the vaccine. This is a non-core vaccine.

Borrelia Burgdorferi

Borrelia Burgdorferi is also known as Lyme disease. This disease occurs mainly in dogs who participate in hunting regularly. Dogs come in contact with it by being bit by a deer tick. Popular symptoms are joint pain, fever, lack of appetite and shifting-leg lameness. Unfortunately, this disease is very hard to treat. On the bright side, your dog can live with it and be treated for the symptoms. This is a non-core vaccine.