The following paragraphs describe the many infectious agents for which vaccines are currently available. Core vaccines are those considered essential for all dogs by leading researchers and immunologists. Non-core vaccines are those recommended only if there is a high risk of exposure.

Core Vaccines

Distemper: Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) can cause lethargy, fever, and many symptoms related to the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems; any body tissue may be affected. CDV can be fatal. Infection occurs by exposure of the air passages to airborne CDV particles.

Hepatitis: Canine Adenovirus usually infects the liver, causing symptoms related to that organ; it can be fatal in severe cases. Infection occurs by exposure to infected urine, feces, and body secretions.

Parvovirus: Canine Parvovirus (CPV) can cause inappetance, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss; dyhydration is also a serious concern. CPV can be rapidly fatal. Infection occurs by oral exposure to infected feces, and CPV can live in the environment for extended periods.

Rabies: Rabies virus causes fatal disease in many mammals, both wild and domestic, including dogs and humans. The virus enters through a bite wound from a rabid animal, or via exposure of mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) to infected blood or body secretions. The virus then spreads to the nervous system (causing symptoms like anxiety, aggression, disorientation, incoordination, paralysis, seizures, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing) and the salivary glands (enabling transmission to bite victims). Due to the seriousness of the disease, vaccination is mandatory by law. In Oregon, bats are the primary carriers of rabies virus; there are rare reports of humans contracting rabies from airborne exposure in bat caves.

Non-Core Vaccines

Bordetella: Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that colonizes the lining of the respiratory tract, often in conjunction with Parainfluenza virus. Symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, and nasal/eye discharge. Several types of airborne bacteria and viruses can cause these "kennel cough"symptoms, so your dog can still get "kennel cough" despite receiving the Bordetella vaccine. Bordetella vaccine is usually reserved for those dogs at high risk for exposure in situations like puppy class, boarding kennels, shows, day-care, grooming, and hospitalization. Intranasal vaccine carries a small risk of transient coughing, sneezing or nasal/eye discharge.

Leptospirosis: This bacterium infects many mammals, both wild and domestic, including dogs and humans. The liver and kidneys are the primary organs affected, and symptoms may include fever, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain, coughing, and urinary problems. It is potentially fatal. The bacterium is shed through the urine of infected animals. Several strains of Leptospirosis exist, so vaccines must be chosen to match the particular strains prevalent in your area. More severe reactions and less protection are associated with this vaccine compared to the core vaccines. Also, Leptospirosis vaccine can lessen the severity of disease but does not prevent infection, bacterial shedding, or the carrier state Lyme Disease: This is caused by tick-borne bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, and is a risk for both dogs and humans bitten by ticks. Lyme disease can affect multiple organs in a slow and insidious progression of illness which may begin simply as vague flu-like or arthritic symptoms. Use of the vaccine has been controversial due to side effects associated with it, and the fact that prevention can be achieved in large part by the use of anti-tick products such as Frontline Plus. Tick control is also necessary to prevent other tick- borne diseases for which no vaccines are available.

Generally Not Recommended by Doctors at Advanced Care Animal Hospital

Canine Corona Virus: This virus causes only mild gastrointestinal disease, and only in puppies under 6 weeks old. Vaccination against Canine Parvovirus also protects puppies against this virus.

Giardia: Giardia lambia is a protozoan parasite that lives in freshwater streams, puddles, ponds and ditches contaminated by infected feces. If ingested it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. Although many species, including humans, are affected by Giardia each year, transmission from dogs and cats to humans has not been proven. The vaccine does not prevent infection; it may reduce shedding of cysts and clinical signs, but the vast majority of dogs respond to treatment.