Rabies is a devastating virus which affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal. The rabies virus can be transmitted to humans and our pets through the bite of a rabid animal. Common carriers of the rabies virus include (but is not limited to) raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.
As of July 2018, Ontario law requires that all dogs and cats over three months of age be vaccinated against rabies. In Ontario, incidents of human rabies exposure occur rarely and are controlled in part through vaccination.
DHPP is a combination vaccination that targets four different infectious diseases. DHPP should be administered to your puppy at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. Boosters are required during the first 4 months of your puppy’s life in order to support the immune system as it develops. Once the puppy series has been completed, your puppy will be immunized against DHPP for one year.
The viruses that DHPP protect against include:
- Distemper – This is a virus that can affect many areas of the body including the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, and the nervous system. This can spread from pet to pet through sneezing and coughing, as well as through shared toys or food bowls.
- Hepatitis – Like Distemper, Hepatitis can affect many of the body’s systems and is highly contagious. Hepatitis most commonly affects the liver.
- Parvovirus – This virus affects the digestive tract, causing severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. This virus is often fatal in young dogs if not detected and treated immediately.
- Parainfluenza – This virus mimics the symptoms of Kennel Cough, which may include coughing, vomiting, nasal discharge, and fever.
Bordetella is a bacterial infection that is the primary cause of “Kennel Cough” in dogs. Kennel cough causes symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, nasal discharge, and fever, with the potential to cause pneumonia. This virus can be highly contagious as it affects the respiratory system, and often affects dogs living in close quarters or “kennel” environments. It is important to vaccinate your dog against Bordetella if your puppy is in close contact with other dogs. This vaccination is often required for puppy classes and boarding facilities. Kennel cough may be caused by several strains of Bordetella. We offer an intranasal vaccination against the most common strain.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira. The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected rodents, racoons, and dogs. Dogs can become infected if they come into contact with contaminated soil or water. Leptospirosis causes a wide range of symptoms. Severe cases can lead to kidney and liver failure.
Leptospirosis is a growing concern in Toronto due to our large racoon population. An effort should be made to ensure that our pets are not drinking from puddles or other stagnant water that may be contaminated with racoon or rodent urine. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted to humans, so it is important to keep your pet and your family protected!
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Ticks that carry these bacteria transmit infection by biting and latching onto pets and humans! This infection most commonly affects the joints, kidneys, and cardiovascular system.
Every year the tick population in Ontario continues to grow. Ticks have been reported in many locations in and around Toronto, including Cherry Beach, The Don Valley, Rouge Valley, and even as close as Allan Gardens. Ticks are prevalent in areas with long grasses and thrive when the weather is between 4-25°C. It is important to check your dog’s coat (and yourself !) thoroughly after visiting tick-prone areas.
Please click the link below to view areas in Ontario that are endemic for Lyme disease. This may help you better assess you and your pet’s risk for Lyme disease.