What are the abbreviations for canine vaccinations? At Revival Animal Health, we are the Pet Vaccine Experts. As you browse our dog vaccines, here’s a handy guide to help you identify the various letter combinations.
“D”: Distemper. Distemper is a contagious disease of the intestinal tract and respiratory system, and it eventually spreads to the brain. There is no treatment for Distemper, but supportive therapy can help some side effects.
“A”, “A2”: 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”: Canine Coronavirus. Puppies are at the greatest risk for this intestinal disease, which causes severe diarrhea and sometimes death. As with many other viruses, there is no specific treatment, but supportive therapy can alleviate the side effects.
“L2”, “4L”, “L4”: Leptospirosis. This is 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, while others protect against all four. Not all dogs should receive the Lepto vaccine, so talk to your veterinarian first.
“M”: Measles. This is closely related to canine Distemper. The Measles virus vaccine induces immunity to canine Distemper virus. A combined canine Distemper and Measles virus vaccine increases the protection of puppies against Distemper during the period when they commonly carry maternal antibodies.
“B”, “Bb”: Bordetella bronchiseptica. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. Bordetella spreads through direct contact, through the air, and through contaminated objects. Transmission can occur between dogs and cats.
Knowing which vaccine your dog needs can be tricky. Use Revival’s Vaccine Finder to easily determine which combination vaccination is best for your dog.
If you have questions on vaccines for dogs, call a Revival Pet Care Pro at 800.786.4751.
- American Veterinary Medical Association. “Canine Distemper”. 28 February 2022.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Canine Adenoviruses and Herpesvirus”. 28 February 2022.
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Canine Parvovirus”. 28 February 2022.
- American Animal Hospital Association. “Canine Parvovirus”. 28 February 2022.
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Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.