The DHPP vaccine is known as the distemper vaccine, but this vaccine does a whole lot more than protect against distemper. This vaccine shields your dog from several viruses that cause severe illness or death. Learning about the DHPP vaccine will help you to make educated decisions about your dog's health.  

1. The Four Viruses

The DHPP vaccine protects your dog from four key viruses. All of these viruses affect your dog in different ways, and all of them are severe. These viruses are:

  • Distemper. Distemper is only treated with supportive care and has no cure. Distemper is a respiratory illness that includes neurological symptoms. Dogs afflicted with distemper often die, and those that live have lasting neurological difficulties. 
  • Hepatitis. This virus targets the lining of the blood vessels and the organs. This illness can lead to swelling, fever, and death. Some dogs also experience blindness after a hepatitis infection.
  • Parainfluenza. This illness is a respiratory virus that can lead to pneumonia in dogs. Parainfluenza is also known as kennel cough. 
  • Parvovirus. This virus attacks the digestive tract of infected dogs. Dogs with this virus experience painful diarrhea, and treatments are limited to supportive care techniques. Many dogs that become infected with parvo pass away. 

Many of these viruses are highly infectious and may linger in an area for months or even years. These shed viruses remain active and make it possible for your dog to become infected even if a sick dog isn't present in the area. 

2. The Vaccination Schedule

Your dog should start receiving shots when they're around 6–8 weeks of age. Many factors determine which vaccinations are right for your puppy. These factors can include your puppy's weight, how many littermates your puppy had, and if your pup's mom was vaccinated. After your dog receives its initial shots, you can expect your pup to get shots every four weeks. These appointments will continue until they're around 16 weeks can expect your dog to need shots annually. 

3. Is the Vaccine Necessary?

The DHPP vaccine is a core vaccination for your dog. This shot is necessary for many areas to get your dog its license. The vaccine is also required to be eligible for many boarding facilities, grooming salons, and kennels. The DHPP shot may not be recommended if your dog is immunocompromised. 

If you have questions about the DHPP vaccination, or it's time for your pup to get the shot, reach out to your veterinarian to schedule an appointment.