5 Canine Diseases That Vaccinations Can Fight

Dogs are our most loyal companions and some of the cuddliest of pets. But like we humans, our furry four-legged best friends are vulnerable to their own set of diseases—diseases that can impair their wellbeing or even cut short their lives. Some of these diseases come in the form of viruses or bacteria transported to your pup one way or another, other health issues are caused directly by infestation of parasites such as worms. All of these may sound like scary scenarios, but they can be prevented with the help of vaccines. Today, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at some of the dangerous diseases that our pups can experience if they don’t stay updated with their vaccines!


Rabies is a disease caused by a virus and is popularly known from a variety of media as well as stories of both pets and people catching it and dying. This kind of attention is well-warranted considering that once the symptoms of rabies begin manifesting in human being, it’s usually too late and the person could die. But what about your dog?

Rabies is a disease that thrives in mammals, whether it’s humans, bats, raccoons, or sadly, our four-legged best friends. The way that the virus works is that it attacks the nervous system of the infected mammal. Once your dog’s been infected, they may begin to exhibit a variety of symptoms:

  • Aggression
  • Increased/Excessive Drooling
  • Staggering While Walking
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Other Drastic Changes to Daily Behavior (Example: Changes to Daytime/Nighttime Activity)

Much like humans, once these signs begin appearing, there isn’t really a treatment to save your pet. Rabies can and must be prevented with the aid of a vaccine, to ensure that you and your dog are kept safe from the rabies virus. This disease is still a concern across the world, which makes the rabies vaccine all the more important, no matter where you and your dog are.

Canine Parvovirus

Also known simply as “parvo”, the Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect any dog. However, the dogs of greatest concern when it comes to Canine Parvovirus are those that are unvaccinated and very young puppies. The virus is so dangerous because of how resilient it is, how it can linger on surfaces and even in feces for a long time, and how direct contact is all it needs to spread. The virus mainly targets the gastrointestinal tract of your dog—here are some of the symptoms that your dog may exhibit if they’ve contracted Canine Parvovirus:

  • • Lethargy
  • • Loss of Appetite
  • • Abdominal Pain and/or Bloating
  • • Vomiting
  • • Bloody Diarrhea
  • • Fever

It is imperative that you contact a veterinarian if any of these symptoms should manifest. Canine Parvovirus is deadly enough that typically death occurs within 48 to 72 hours of symptoms first manifesting. The sooner you get your dog treatment, the better. Ideally, your pup should be vaccinated against canine parvovirus between 14 to 16 weeks of age. But even adult dogs should be updated on their parvovirus vaccinations. Check with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is safe against this deadly virus.

Lyme Disease

Like rabies, Lyme disease can affect both you and your dog. Notoriously, this disease is spread by ticks and their bites. Lyme diseases is most prominent along the East Coast states and going into the Midwest, temperate areas where ticks can properly flourish, find their way onto animals and dogs, and spread the disease. The primary type of tick that transmits Lyme disease is known as the Deer Tick. They can be found mainly in forests and marshy areas. Here are some of the symptoms that can occur from Lyme disease:

  • Lameness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Joint Swelling
  • Fever

These can be preventable with a Lyme disease vaccine. It should be noted though that this vaccine requires annual boosters in order to keep your dog’s defenses up. You should also be wary of letting your dog get too lost in wooded or marshy places—when in those areas, stick to clear paths as much as possible and away from shrubs and low-lying bushes. The best advice would be, however, to simply avoid these areas where ticks are known to flourish.


Known to cause what is called Kennel Cough, Bordetella bronchiseptica is a common bacterial disease that can spread easily when dogs are gathered together for a prolonged period of time, such as in pet boarding situations. While this disease is fairly treatable, it is highly contagious which is why a Bordetella vaccine is often required before your dog can be admitted into dog boarding facilities, dog training programs, or even doggie daycares. Symptoms for Bordetella include:

  • Upper Respiratory Inflammation
  • Coughing
  • Reduced Immune System
  • Runny Nose
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Low Fever

Usually, Bordetella can be treated with cough medicine, antibiotics, and a lot of rest. But the best treatment for your pup will be to give them the Bordetella vaccine so that they can avoid the problem altogether!

Canine Distemper

Another viral disease, Canine Distemper is a disease that can be transmitted both through surface contract and through airborne spreading. It exists out in the wild amongst wildlife populations and it can affect your dog should they come into contact with any of the virus spread by a carrier. The virus mainly attacks the nervous system of your dog, leading to a variety of issues and ultimately death. Here are some of the symptoms of Canine Distemper:

  • Pus-Like Discharge Coming from Eyes
  • Coughing
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Low Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Convulsions and Twitching
  • Head Tilt
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis

Fortunately, there is a vaccine for Canine Distemper, and it is absolutely important that you have your dog vaccinated to ensure that they’re kept safe from this terrible disease that can cause immense suffering and death.

Vaccinations Are Important for All Your Dog’s Life

Vaccinations do more than just keep your dog safe from deadly diseases—they also open the doors for a variety of services that your dog may need. Pet boarding places and dog groomers typically require that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations before being given access to their services and accommodations. This is both for the safety of your dog as well as the for the safety of all pups who might also be there at the same time. But once your dog has been properly vaccinated, they can enjoy all the wonderful dog services out there and, of course, enjoy more adventures with you! When you find yourself in need of a pet boarding place or a dog grooming place, be sure to check out TopResearched to find the best ones in your local area!