Arbor Ridge Pet Clinic

2935 South Fish Hatchery Road, Bay 16
Madison, WI 53711


The 'Distemper Vaccine' For Dogs, what's in it?


When you bring your dog in for his 'Distemper Shot', have you ever stopped and wondered what is in the vaccine?  What is it protecting my dog for?  Well today's post is going to discuss just that topic.
The Arbor Ridge Pet Clinic uses the 'Distemper Vaccine' - DA2PP.  The 'D' is the obvious one, it stands for 'Distemper virus'.  This virus infects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves) and if a dog is infected with it, the virus is 100% fatal.  Signs can begin with gastrointestinal signs and neurological signs (tremors to full blown seizures).  
The 'A2' is for Adenovirus type 2, which is a virus that causes cold or flu like symptoms.  It is mainly used to cross protect for Adenovirus type 1, which is a virus that infects the liver causing a hepatitis.  We do not however vaccinate directly for Adenovirus type 1 as it can cause unwanted side affects if used in the vaccine (i.e. blue eye).
The first 'P' is for Parainfluenza virus.  This virus causes a upper respiratory infection.
The Second 'P' is for Parvo Virus.  This virus attacks the crypt cells of the intestinal tract.  These cells are responsible for G.I. protection and G.I. absorption.  Without these cells we can not properly absorb food and bacteria can cross over into the blood stream.  This disease is a severe and many times fatal disease is puppies.
As you can see there is a lot that your dog is protected for in the 'Distemper Shot'.  It is an important vaccine when administered properly and at the appropriate times.  If you have further questions call or stop in to the Arbor Ridge Pet Clinic.