ABC’s of Dog Vaccines

As you browse our dog vaccines, here’s a handy guide to identifying the various letter combinations.

“D”: Distemper. The leading cause of death in dogs, distemper is a contagious disease of the intestinal tract & respiratory system, and it eventually spreads to the brain. There is no treatment for distemper, but supportive therapy can help some side effects.

“A”: Adenovirus. There are two strains of adenovirus: hepatitis (type 1), which is a disease of the liver, and respiratory (type 2), which can contribute to kennel cough. Adenovirus type 2 is used to make vaccines, and it protects against both strains.

“P”: Parainfluenza. This respiratory disease is one of the culprits of canine bronchitis, or kennel cough, which causes a dry hacking cough that can last for weeks. Parainfluenza is easily spread, especially when dogs are in close confinement.

“PV”, “Pv”, “CPV”: Canine Parvovirus. This is a highly contagious disease of the intestinal tract. It also progresses quickly, so death is very common. There is no direct treatment for parvo, but supportive therapy may help some of the side effects.

“CV”, “CVK”: Coronavirus. Puppies are at the greatest risk for this intestinal disease, which causes severe diarrhea and sometimes death. As with other viruses, there is no specific treatment, but supportive therapy can alleviate the side effects.

“L”, “4L”: Leptospirosis. A bacterial disease in the liver and kidneys. There are four prominent subtypes (or serovars) of lepto, and one serovar will not cover the rest. Some vaccines protect against the two most common serovars, others protect against all four. Not all dogs should receive the lepto vaccine, so talk to your veterinarian first.





The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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