• Blog >
  • Understanding your pet's vaccines
RSS Feed

Understanding your pet's vaccines

Keeping your pet healthy is important in many ways.  Understanding the vaccines your pet receives is key for pet owners.  This will educate pet owners about each vaccine that is recommended. The number ONE reason to vaccinate your pet is to keep them free from disease that could potentially make them very sick or even become life threatening.

Canine vaccines recommended by Eagle Animal Hospital: DAPPv, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Bordatella (KCV), K9 Influenza and Rabies.

DAPPv - commonly referred to as the "Distemper vaccine" - This vaccine combines 4 different diseases we want to protect against.

  • D= Distemper (CDV-canine distemper virus) is a debilitating, persistent infection of the nervous system. It replicates in the lymphatic tissue, then spreads causing symptoms of:

*respiratory illness - coughing/pneumonia

                                                    *vomiting/diarrhea   *poor appetite

                                                    *Fever   *seizures   *death

            Most at risk are shelter and pet store puppies/dogs who have questionable vaccination

            history. This is highly contagious.

  • A= Adenovirus - Infectious Canine Hepatitis - Causes fever and severe live disease.
  • P= Parainfluenza - Is a virus resulting in severe Upper Respiratory Infection, and potential Pneumonia.
  • Pv = Parvo-Virus - Is a highly contagious virus that attacks the small intestines and can be fatal.  Symptoms include:

*severe bloody diarrhea



*intestinal complications

*can result in death

             Most at risk are puppies/dogs that are raised or living in a poor environment (shelters,

             breeders, puppy mills) and have an unknown vaccination history.

Leptospirosis vaccine - Is a contagious Zoonotic disease that causes acute Liver and Kidney failure and is usually fatal.  It is transmitted through urine of wildlife (deer, skunk, fox, raccoons, etc..) It can be picked up by your pet's respiratory tract (sniffing the urine), mucous membranes (drinking from infected puddles, lakes etc..) or cuts on their skin.  This is also contagious to humans (adults and children).

Bordatella (KCV) Kennel Cough Vaccine - Is a viral infection resulting in a harsh cough and can lead to pneumonia.  Kennel Cough is highly contagious through the air from a coughing and sneezing dog. Most at risk are puppies/dogs who frequent boarding, grooming or doggie day care facilities, as well as the neighborhood dog parks. This is usually not life threatening.

K9 Influenza (H3N8 virus) - Is a viral infection resulting in a harsh severe upper respiratory infection and can lead to pneumonia. K9 flu is highly contagious.  Symptoms include:



* lethargy

Most at risk are those who frequent boarding, grooming, day care facilities and neighborhood dog parks.   

Lyme vaccine: Borrelia Burgdorferi - Transmitted by the deer tick. There are two forms seen "Subclinical and Clinical" signs.

  • subclinical signs - normal healthy looking dog.
  • clinical signs - fever, lethargy, anorexia, joint pain/swelling.

Lyme disease is not contagious, and the vaccine does offer a layer of protection, but we still recommend using a good flea/tick control.

Feline vaccines include: FVRCP, FeLv and Rabies

FVRCP - commonly referred to as "Feline Distemper" this combines 3 diseases we want to protect against.

  • FVR = Feline Viral Rhinotrachetis - Caused by the Herpes Virus. It is a viral upper respiratory tract infection and it is very contagious and persistent. Symptoms include:   *nasal/eye discharge * anorexia  *ulcers in mouth.
  • C = Calicivirus (pronounced kah-LEE-see virus)  This is a viral disease with the same signs as FVR above.
  • P= Panleukopenia - Is a viral infection that can cause severe GI issues - vomiting and diarrhea.  Similar to "parvo" in puppies. This is highly contagious and can result in severe immune system deficiency and death. Kittens are most susceptible.

FeLv - Feline Leukemia Virus - FeLv produces immunosuppression which can lead to other diseases or infections. This is highly contagious from cat to cat. It is transmitted through bodily fluids - saliva, blood via bite wounds, sharing food bowls and litter boxes.

  • Causes cancer - Lymphoma
  • Can cause respiratory or GI disease
  • Once contracted is 100% fatal.

Finally let’s talk RABIES........

Rabies - is a virus that enters through wounds of infected saliva often from wildlife.  Rabies causes fatal neurologic disease.  Once signs of rabies appears it’s always fatal.   Humans can get rabies. Fortunately, the vaccine is very effective in preventing rabies.

Rabies is the only vaccine that is required by law by all 50 states for ALL domestic dogs and cats indoors or outdoors. NO exceptions because it is a fatal disease to both humans and animals.

I hope you now have a better understanding behind the vaccines we recommend for your pet.  If you have a concern regarding any of these diseases that your pet is not vaccinated for, please call us at EAH and we will gladly get your pet protected.

Written by Vicki Guy, Technician


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


8:00 am

5:00 pm


8:00 am

8:00 pm


8:00 am

5:00 pm


8:00 am

8:00 pm


8:00 am

5:00 pm


8:00 am

12:00 pm





Read What Our Clients Say

  • "As always, our cat Jasper received excellent care from the doctors and staff at Eagle Animal Hospital. His dental injury was assessed and treated quickly and expertly. Thank you for all that you do to keep our furry friends healthy and happy!"
    Valerie C.