"DA2PP" is a combination vaccine for your dog that protects against four primary canine diseases -- distemper, adenovirus-2, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Because these diseases can be deadly and do not have cures, regular vaccination is recommended to reduce your pooch’s risk, though it is not required.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral illness similar to the measles in humans. Your dog can contract the virus through direct contact with an infected animal or through indirect contact such as with bedding or food bowls used by infected animals or wildlife feces. Symptoms include a high fever, weakness, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, it attacks the nervous system and may cause seizures and paralysis. In certain strains of distemper, hardening of the foot pads may occur. The severity of the disease depends on the strain and the age of the dog. For adult dogs, the mortality rate is less than 50 percent. For puppies, however, the mortality rate is as high as 80 percent.
Adenovirus-2 and Parainfluenza
Adenovirus-2 and parainfluenza are two different viruses that can play roles in kennel cough. So can the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. Symptoms include loud coughs, runny noses and mucus discharge, wheezing and decreased appetite. No treatment is available for the viral infections. Antibiotics and cough suppressants treat secondary bacterial infections and treat symptoms.
Parvovirus is a fast-acting virus with a high mortality rate. The virus can survive in the environment for up to a year, so just a simple walk around the block is enough for your dog to contract the virus when he stops to sniff where another dog may have been. Symptoms begin with a loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. A strong, distinctive odor is present; the stool may contain mucus or blood. Puppies are more commonly affected and are at higher risk of mortality, though parvovirus can affect dogs of any age. There is no cure, but early treatment with intravenous fluids increases the chance of survival. With most cases, the survival rate is 70 percent.
DA2PP Vaccination Schedule
DA2PP vaccinations begin when your puppy is 6 to 8 weeks of age. Your puppy receives additional boosters at 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age. While the DA2PP is not required by law, it is recommended. It is usually required before any boarding or grooming. After the puppy schedule, how often your dog needs to be vaccinated depends on his medical history, environment and lifestyle. If your dog kennels with other dogs on a regular basis, yearly boosters may be necessary. If your dog stays in your backyard with only occasional contact with other dogs, then boosters may be necessary every two to three years. Your vet knows best.
Rabies vaccinations are the only ones required by law; they're first administered between ages 3 months to 6 months. Other vaccinations are available; many depend on where you live and your dog's general habitat and lifestyle. For dogs who board regularly or come in frequent contact with other dogs, the bordetella vaccine treats one of the viruses responsible for kennel cough. Many kennels require this vaccine before boarding. In areas with deer ticks and Lyme disease, the Lyme vaccine is recommended. Other vaccines, like leptospirosis, giardia and coronavirus protect against bacteria or parasitic infections commonly passed through the feces of wild animals. Veterinarians may recommend these vaccines for dogs who come into contact with lakes or areas with regular wildlife.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.