If you just adopted a puppy, you are probably looking for every possible way to keep it happy, healthy and safe. When you look into those puppy eyes for the first time, you feel a new type of love. You never want your precious pet to experience pain, so you might procrastinate on visiting your vet for a shot. However, leaving your puppy unvaccinated can be dangerous.
The 5-in-1 puppy shot protects your dog from five deadly, untreatable illnesses. Often, your dog’s only defense against them is this vaccine. This brief guide will explain the 5-way dog vaccine and why you should consult a vet before giving your dog any vaccine.
What Is the 5-Way Vaccine for Dogs?
Other names for the 5-way dog vaccination include the DHPP, DAPP or DA2PP vaccine. The letters in each acronym represent the illnesses that the vaccine protects against, including the following.
1. Canine Distemper Virus
Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease that targets a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.
Typically, a dog gets distemper through airborne exposure from an infected dog or a wild animal. A puppy can also catch the virus if they share a food or water bowl with an infected dog or if their mother had the virus when pregnant. This is most common in shelters where dogs are housed in large groups.
Symptoms of canine distemper include:
- Pus-like discharge from the eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Reduced appetite
- Circling behavior
- Head tilt
- Muscle twitches
- Jaw twitches
- Partial or complete paralysis
Canine distemper is incurable, and the illness is often fatal. Dogs who survive may have irreversible nervous system damage.
2. Canine Hepatitis
Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) cross-protects against canine adenovirus 1(CAV-1), which is no longer a component of most canine vaccines. Canine adenovirus type 1, more commonly known as canine hepatitis, primarily attacks a dog’s liver before spreading to other organs, including the kidneys. A dog can become infected with the disease after coming in contact with an infected dog’s saliva, urine or feces.
The symptoms of canine hepatitis include:
- Deficiency of blood clotting
- Low white blood count
- Reduced appetite
- Yellow-tinted skin, gums and teeth
- Watery discharge from the nose and eyes
- Swelling of lymph nodes, neck and head
- Red dots on the skin
Dogs infected with canine hepatitis can experience organ failure and death. For dogs who fight off the infection and survive, the organ damage is often irreversible.
3. Kennel Cough
Canine adenovirus type 2 is much less severe than type 1. Rather than attacking the organs, CAV-2 affects the airways. CAV-2 is one of the diseases associated with kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheitis.
The symptoms of kennel cough include:
- Low fever
- Reduced appetite
- Runny nose
Most dogs will recover from kennel cough in two weeks.
4. Canine Parvovirus
Canine parvovirus, or parvo, is a highly contagious virus that targets the rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s intestines, bone marrow and sometimes, even heart. Puppies can become sick with parvo when they:
- Come in direct contact with an infected dog’s feces
- Encounter a collar, leash, water bowl or food dish used by an infected dog
- Meet a person who also handled an infected dog
Parvovirus is especially dangerous because dogs excrete it in large amounts and it has a long life span. The virus can linger on surfaces for up to a year.
Symptoms of parvo include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Reduced appetite
Dogs sick with parvo often require hospitalization and intensive care. When a dog does not receive treatment, the results can be fatal.
5. Canine Parainfluenza
Canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious viral lung infection. Though it might sound similar to canine influenza, the two illnesses are different.
Parainfluenza spreads through aerosols when an infected dog coughs or sneezes. The virus spreads fastest in kennels and animal shelters. An infected puppy may experience the following symptoms:
- Reduced appetite
- Mucus, pus or blood discharge from the nose
- Low-grade fever
- A dry or wet cough, sometimes with blood
A vet can treat canine parainfluenza. It often takes the virus two weeks to run its course.
Is the 5-in-1 Vaccine Good for Dogs?
Now that you know what diseases the vaccine protects against, what are the benefits of the 5-in-1 vaccination for dogs? The 5-way puppy shot gives you peace of mind because it lessens your dog’s risk of developing severe reactions when exposed to viruses.
Puppies under 6 months old are at the highest risk of developing these illnesses and having severe symptoms. When you vaccinate your puppy with the 5-way vaccine, you are giving its body a way to fight against these deadly viruses. Each disease has much lower mortality rates for vaccinated dogs.
To protect your puppy, your dog should get its first 5-way shot when it is about 6 weeks old. Then, you should return to your vet for follow-up shots at 9, 12 and 16 weeks old. After your puppy has its initial vaccine doses, getting a booster every one to three years will ensure its protection never lapses.
When to Visit Your Vet
Always consult a vet to get your dog vaccinated. While it is unlikely that your pet will have an adverse reaction to a vaccine, you want to be ready if they do. Talking to a vet will help you know what to look for if your puppy experiences any side effects or adverse reactions.
Your vet will also recommend your dog’s safest and most effective vaccination regimen, considering factors such as your puppy’s health, breed, age and lifestyle to determine the correct frequency and ensure your pet is not high-risk.
Safeguard Your Dog Against Preventable Diseases With Help From Revival Animal Health
Your pet is a beloved family member, and keeping your dog healthy includes protecting it from catching deadly viruses. That’s why Revival Animal Health has reliable 5-way vaccines for dogs. Not sure what vaccine is best for your dog? The Revival Vaccine Finder is a free and easy tool to help you choose the right vaccine for your dog.
Dr. Roy Nielsen, Jr., founded Revival Animal Health over 30 years ago to help veterinarians, shelter staff and pet owners keep their furry friends happy and healthy. Today, we offer a wide range of vaccines for dogs of all sizes.
Explore our website to find a 5-way vaccine that matches your dog’s life-style and age, then contact us to learn about our unwavering commitment to breeders, shelters, pet professionals and animal lovers.
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Written by: Marty Greer, DVM
Director of Veterinary Services
Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.