DA2PP Vaccine

The DA2PP vaccine is a combination vaccine, meaning it contains vaccines for multiple diseases in one injection. These are Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza. It is given in a series of 3-4 injections to puppies starting at 6-8 weeks of age, and then a booster is given 1 year after the final puppy shot. After that this combo shot is administered every 3 years to most dogs. DA2PP (or DHPP) is considered a core vaccine, meaning that it should be given to all dogs no matter what their lifestyle is. The following should serve to better describe the diseases covered by this vaccine and explain why your New York City pooch could be at risk. Distemper - Canine distemper is a virus that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital and nervous systems of dogs and other animals. Early symptoms of distemper include ocular and nasal discharge, fever, poor appetite, sneezing and coughing. Affected dogs become progressively worse as the virus spreads to other body systems. Later signs of the disease include vomiting, diarrhea, callusing of the footpads, tremors (typically of the jaw), weakness and eventually seizures. There are no specific medications to cure distemper, so the only treatment available is supportive care. Many young or otherwise immune-compromised dogs will die of this disease, while others can survive, but may cause permanent neurologic damage. Canine distemper is spread mostly via respiratory secretions, but can also be spread via fresh urine or blood. Dogs become infected via direct or indirect (i.e. bedding, food bowls) contact with an infected animal. Young puppies and other unvaccinated dogs are the most susceptible. Other animals that can carry the canine distemper virus include foxes, skunks, raccoons and ferrets. Unlike Rabies, Distemper cannot be transmitted to humans or cats. Parvovirus - Of all the viruses we worry about with our dogs the Parvovirus probably has the biggest notoriety. Parvovirus, commonly referred to as “parvo”, is a virus that causes severe gastrointestinal disease, often in young puppies who are unvaccinated or who have not received their entire vaccination series. Parvo is spread via direct or indirect exposure to feces from an infected dog and is very contagious. The virus itself is very resistant to changes in temperature and humidity and can persist in the environment for long periods of time even up to months at a time. It can also persist on inanimate objects such as food bowls, carriers/kennels, clothing, and floors. Symptoms include vomiting, severe diarrhea (often with blood), fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The disease is concerning because it causes rapid dehydration and death can occur within days of infection. Dogs who have Parvo are treated with aggressive supportive care to combat dehydration and often require intensive hospitalization and even plasma transfusions. Because the virus is so contagious and difficult to combat in the environment, Parvo positive dogs are usually isolated in the hospital. The best way to prevent your pup from Parvovirus is to have her vaccinated and avoid public areas with unvaccinated puppies or unknown dogs until she has completed her full puppy vaccine series. Parvo is not contagious to humans or cats. Adenovirus - There are two types of canine adenovirus: type 1 (CAV-1) and type 2 (CAV-2). CAV-1 causes canine infectious hepatitis. Some people even refer to this virus as Hepatitis, hence the “H” in DHPP. CAV-2 is one of the viruses that causes infectious tracheobronchitis (“kennel cough”) in dogs. Dogs infected with CAV-1 will initially show signs of cough or general malaise. The virus can then affect the eyes, liver and kidneys. Typical symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, a “blue-eye” appearance to the eye (corneal edema), increased thirst and even seizures. The disease is spread via direct or indirect contact with contaminated bodily fluids (saliva, urine, feces, blood, etc.). There is no specific cure for canine infectious hepatitis. Most infected dogs are treated with supportive care and recover. However, some dogs will die from liver disease and secondary bleeding disorders. Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) causes classic symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as a cough and nasal and ocular discharge. The virus is spread via infected respiratory secretions or via contact with contaminated feces or urine. Dogs from shelters or dogs that spend time in boarding or grooming facilities, daycare and dog parks are at highest risk of infection. Similar to the common cold in our own human population, this upper respiratory infection typically runs its course and resolves without treatment, but is highly contagious. Some dogs can have persistent infections that develop into secondary bacterial infections or even pneumonia. These more severe cases can require treatment with antibiotics or even hospitalization. Neither CAV-1 or CAV-2 is infectious to humans or cats. Most DA2PP combo vaccines contain a modified canine adenovirus type 2. However, because the viruses are so similar, vaccination against one type provides protection against the other type also known as cross-reactivity. Parainfluenza - Parainfluenza is another virus and one of the most common causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough, in dogs. Common symptoms include coughing, ocular and nasal discharge, lethargy and fever. It is spread via respiratory secretions and is most common in dogs that have spent time in a boarding facility, groomer, daycare, shelter or dog park. Like canine adenovirus type 2, this infection is usually self-limiting and doesn’t require specific treatment. However, it can cause pneumonia in some affected dogs. Parainfluezna virus is not contagious to humans or cats.


Let’s talk about vaccines. We all know our pets need them, but sometimes it’s a little confusing as to why and how often. A vaccine is a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease. We give them to all pets to prevent infectious diseases that can harm or kill your dog or cat. Side effects or reactions are rare, but can occur 1-2 days after receiving a vaccine and include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, diarrhea, facial swelling, or breathing problems. While it’s important to report any vaccine reactions to your veterinarian, the side effects are generally self-limiting. When puppies and kittens are first born they receive their initial antibodies from their mother’s milk. Our current vaccines are excellent at stimulating immunity in older puppies in just one or two shots. However, puppies and kittens who nursed on their mother’s milk have maternal antibodies in their blood that block the immune system from responding to these vaccines. These circulating maternal antibodies protect them from bacterial and viral assault while the puppy’s or kitten’s immune system is maturing. But they also prevent the puppy’s and kitten’s immune system from becoming activated by vaccines. As the puppy and kitten ages, the maternal antibody levels decline. By as early as 6 weeks, 25% of puppies and kittens have a strong immune response to vaccinations, and by 14 to 16 weeks of age the maternal antibodies have fallen enough to allow a full immune response in 90% of puppies and kittens. Veterinarians administer vaccines for the major viral diseases every 3-4 weeks starting around 6 to 8 weeks of age to increase the likelihood that as the maternal antibodies are falling, the lower levels don’t leave the puppy or kitten exposed to disease but instead, the immune system is activated. Once the puppy or kitten has received their full series they should be boostered in one year, and then every 3 years thereafter for the core viral vaccines. The core viral vaccines for dogs include Rabies and DA2PPV and for cats include Rabies and FVRCP. An alternative for the viral diseases is performing viral titers to measure the amount of circulating antibody to ensure your pet is protected against these potentially fatal diseases. All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against Rabies. Rabies is a fatal central nervous system disease that can spread to owners. There is no cure for Rabies and pets diagnosed with it are euthanized. The first Rabies a dog or cat receives is a 1 year vaccine. After the initial Rabies vaccine the pet will be administered 3 year vaccines. It is a legal requirement to license your dog in New York City. You can follow the steps for license requirements here. Based upon your pet’s lifestyle there are different vaccines you’re going to want to administer to your pet to protect her. Most dogs are vaccinated against Bordetella a highly contagious upper respiratory disease. Other diseases dogs are vaccinated against can include Leptospirosis and Lyme’s disease. Outdoor cats are recommended to be vaccinated against feline leukemia. The veterinarians at The Vet Set are more than happy to help you assess your pet’s risk profile to ensure your pet is properly protected against these potentially fatal diseases.

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