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DHLPP & FVRCP – What it means, and why it can save your pet’s life

DHLPP & FVRCP – What it means, and why it can save your pet’s life

***UPDATED JUNE 2020***

If you intend for your dog to have an active life,  it is important that they have protection from disease-causing bacteria they may encounter. In most states, it is even required by law that pets be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as rabies or parvo. But what do DHLPP and FVRCP really mean? Here’s a little insight on the vaccinations Bayside Pet Resort requires, and the diseases they protect your dog or cat against.



DHPP/DHLPP: This is often referred to as simply the “distemper shot”. In actuality, this combination vaccine shot is protecting your dog from 4 different diseases. The acronym means distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. “Distemper with lepto” refers to the same combination but with added protection against Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection which is prevalent in moist climates with standing or slow moving water. The 2 most important parts of this combo vaccine are distemper and parvo. Distemper shows in the form of flu-like symptoms resulting in severe neurological symptoms and usually death. Parvo virus is also often deadly, but can be turned around with intensive hospitalized care. Parvo virus is airborne and spread through cough, sneezing, and even stool.


Rabies: This is a severe viral disease which progresses rapidly, affecting the brain and central nervous system. Rabies in dogs and cats is most commonly transmitted through bites from infected animals such as foxes, coyotes, and raccoons. In the United States, bat bites are the most common cause of rabies transmission. This disease is always fatal in unvaccinated animals, usually occurring only 7-10 days after symptoms began. The importance in vaccinating against this virus lies not only in protecting your pet, but also yourself. Rabies is considered a “zoonotic” disease, which means that it is able to be transmitted from animals to humans. Approximately 40,000-70,000 rabies-related human deaths occur worldwide each year, with bites from unvaccinated dogs being most of these cases.


Bordetella: Kennel Cough, scientifically known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis, is spread by close contact with other dogs who immediately inhale the bug from the infected dog’s cough. Boarding kennels provide an environment where many dogs are kept in close contact, making it an ideal environment for this type of illness to spread. Vaccination is offered by most vets as an injectable or intranasal vaccine. The intranasal vaccine works differently in that it creates antibodies in nasal cavity cells rather than in the blood stream. While boostering the intranasal dose every 6-months was common practice, the AAHA has recently updated their canine vaccination recommendations to state that there is no known value in administering intranasl every 6 months. It is important to wait 48 hours after vaccination before going to the dog park, boarding facility, or grooming salon – this allows time for your dog’s body to develop a defense against the contagious illness.



FVRCP: This acronym stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia a.k.a the “feline distemper” vaccine. These three airborne vaccines are potentially deadly, and can be contracted by cats of any age. Rhinotracheitis is a respiratory infection which develops after contact with feline herpes virus. Calcivirus is also a respiratory infection with similar symptoms, but can also cause painful oral sores. Panleukopenia effects the gastrointestinal, immune, and nervous systems, named for the characteristic drop in white blood cells. All 3 diseases are spread through contact with an infected cat or contaminated objects and are dangerous to unvaccinated cats of any age.


Rabies: See above

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