Your Puppy’s Shots: What they are and the diseases they protect him from

A short summary: This articles explains why your puppy needs his shots and the diseases they protect him from. Included are distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, coronavirus and more.

You’ve brought your puppy home and the breeder has given you a card that is stamped by a local vet, stating what shots your puppy has already had and when he needs to have others in the series. You know how expensive vaccinations are and contemplate skipping them. Don’t! If you puppy doesn’t get his booster shots, he is very susceptible to a number of diseases.

The reason your puppy needs shots is that he loses the protective antibodies that came from his mother when he is between six and sixteen months old. At this time, if he has not developed a strong immune system, your puppy will be susceptible to a wide range of disease. Shots for distemper and parvovirus protect him from contacting a potentially fatal disease.

Keep your puppy away from sick or stray dogs and wildlife until he is at least five months old. Do not board him or take him to places where other dogs are found until he is fully protected. Your vet will be glad to tell you exactly when your puppy is ready to socialize with other canines.

The term “distemper shot,” can be very misleading. This shot is not just for distemper, but for a host of diseases. If you hear your vet mention “DHLAPPC” shot, this is the one he’s talking about. Let me explain how this shot protects your puppy and what diseases are included.


This is a highly contagious disease that could attack your puppy’s brain, lungs and spinal cord. It is somewhat similar to polio in humans.

Adenovirus Type 2

This is also known as Cav – 2 and is a virus that causes respiratory problems. Symptoms are severe coughing and the disease can appear in puppies and dogs of all ages.


Infectious canine hepatitis, also known as ICH, is caused when your puppy comes into contact with infected urine. It causes liver damage and blindness. Never let you puppy smell or lick where another dog has urinated.


This disease also attacks the respiratory system and causes your puppy to develop a cough.


This part of the distemper shot can cause puppies to experience severe side effects. It can damage the liver and kidneys. Being a rare disease, only two of your puppy’s booster shots will contain this virus.


Also known as CCV, this disease resembles parvovirus. It attacks the intestines and causes your puppy to suffer from severe diarrhea. The vaccine is expensive and since coroavirus is so rare, vets sometimes omit if from the shot. If your vet does this, the shot can be given separately.


Canine parvovirus is also known as CPV. It strikes young puppies, attacking the intestines and damaging the heart. It is the single most fatal disease to puppies and is the hardest to protect them from. The most susceptible breeds of dogs to his disease are boxers, bulldogs, Dobermans and Rottweilers. If your puppy is one of these breeds, be sure to ask your vet how to protect him from contacting the disease.


Rabies is spread either by an infected animal’s bite, or the saliva of an infected animal making its way into your puppy’s bloodstream. Yes, your puppy can contact rabies and the disease is always fatal. Never miss your puppy’s rabies shot. If he gets rabies he can easily pass them on to you as well as any other humans he comes into contact with.

When your puppy is four months old he will need a rabies shot. A year later he will need a booster; then every year to three years for the rest of his life, depending on what type of shot your vet gave him and the laws in your community.

If your puppy doesn’t have his rabies shot and he comes into contact with a skunk, he has to be either quarantined or euthanised. Vaccinated puppies that come into contact with skunks should have an addition booster immediately.


Bordetella is a severe respiratory ailment that causes kennel cough. If you plan on taking your puppy to be professionally groomed, or if you plan on boarding him, be sure he as a shot. To be affective, it has to be given at least a month before your puppy arrives at the kennel. This will protect him from contacting Bordetella during his stay.

For your puppy’s protection and optimum health, it is imperative that you ensure all of his shots are kept current. His loyalty, love and companionship are worth a lot more than the expense of his shots.

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