What are these shots for? Let’s talk it out:
Bordetella is an inflammation in your dogs upper respiratory system. It will cause coughing and illness, which can lead to more infections. Bordetella can also be linked to Kennel Cough. You’ll see the symptoms of dry cough, gagging, hacking, a runny/watery nose. Dogs can pick up this illness in crowded places like kennels, dog parks, grooming salons, group outings. If somewhere you gather with other dogs is not clean or seems unkempt, it could be breeding ground for Bordetella. The only positive thing about this one… not fatal, just nasty.
Parainfluenza – sounds like the flu but it isn’t. It is often mistaken for kennel cough, as it has very similar symptoms. However, this is more serious. You would see loss of appetite, constant eye irritation, sneezing, runny nose and your pup will not be themselves. Left untreated it can become a fatal illness. Older dogs have a harder time recovering from Parainfluenza, and it can easily be spread in common areas like a dog park, dog run, grooming salon or doggie hotel.
Leptospirosis is scary and spreading to the United States rapidly from tropical climates. You’ll see infections rise in the fall. It is passed from infected animals leaving it in puddles of common water. An infected animal will mark an area or casually pee and the Leptospirosis bacteria will burrow into your dogs skin and into their bloodstream.
Places like marshes, muddy areas, irrigated pastures, stagnate bodies of water, are where you can come into contact with this virus. Dogs most at risk are hunting dogs, dogs that live near wooded areas, farm dogs or dogs that spend time in a kennel. Oddly enough, people can be infected with young children most at risk.
If your dog has this illness, you could see sudden fever, reluctance to move because they have sore muscles, stiffness in their walking or running, shivering, sudden weakness, depression, lack of appetite, sudden increase in drinking and peeing, vomit and diarrhea (sometimes with blood), yellow skin/yellow whites of eye, coughing, difficulty breathing, runny nose. If you haven’t guessed, this one is BAD and can lead to death.
Lyme is age old and comes from the bite of an infected tick… gross. After vaccine, having your dog on a monthly tick prevention routine is important! This is a tricky illness, as many dogs will never show any signs of being sick… until they suddenly do. Lyme disease is carried through the bloodstream to many parts of the body but is most likely to impact the joints or kidneys. If it goes untreated, Lyme disease can damage a dogs muscles, eyes, kidneys, heart and brain. If your older dog has sudden kidney failure, this could be the cause. Obviously, dogs who live on farms, in wooded areas, or are in contact with others who live in these areas, are most at risk. Lyme is treatable if discovered but deadly if not uncovered.
Canine Influenza sounds like the flu and it is. Like so many others on this list, a respiratory disease with symptoms like coughing (both moist and dry), sneezing, runny nose, runny eyes, fever, difficulty breathing, lethargy. This is easily spread and extremely contagious. Depending on your dogs age, health, immune system and other key factors… your dog could be VERY sick or not show any signs of the illness.
If you hear of an outbreak of Canine Influenza, consider holding back doggy play group activities, trips to the dog park or other mass gather locations until the outbreak subsides. The good news, not likely fatal. Your dog could be mega sick but they should recover.