Canine Vaccine Information

Rabies Vaccine:

LRVC recommends the first vaccine to be given to puppies anytime between 4-6 months.

  • A severe, fatal, viral neurological disease of all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Dogs with an unknown vaccine history are given a 1year rabies. After receiving their initial 1 year rabies any rabies vaccine booster given thereafter is considered valid for 3 years. In order for a rabies vaccine to be considered a 3 year vaccine there must be proof of at least one rabies vaccine prior.


LRVC recommends the DHPP be given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. Occasionally the veterinarian may recommend an additional injection depending on your puppy’s history. After the initial core puppy vaccines, adult canines are given a booster 1 year after last puppy injection then every 3 years thereafter.

  • Distemper:  A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through varies exposure (sneezing, coughing, saliva, urine or feces) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden.
  • Hepatitis:  Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
  • Parainfluenza:  One of several viruses that can contribute to kennel cough.
  • Parvovirus:  Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk to contract it. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.


LRVC recommends this vaccine to puppies or adult dogs that may be at a higher risk. This vaccine requires a total of 2 injections given 3 – 4 weeks apart then a booster is given yearly thereafter.

  • Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. It can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better.


LRVC recommends this vaccine for any canine that is prone to get ticks frequently. The first vaccine can be given at 4 – 6 months of age or any time thereafter. This vaccine requires 2 injections given 3 – 4 weeks apart, then a booster is given yearly thereafter.

  • Lyme disease (or borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Transmitted via ticks, an infected dog often starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating. The disease can affect his heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months or even years later.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough):

LRVC recommends all dogs that go to dog parks, boarding facility, doggy day care, or may be around other dogs frequently receive a Bordetella vaccine. The initial vaccine is given intranasally, then a booster is given yearly thereafter.

  • This highly infectious bacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in very rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough.

Canine Influenza Vaccine:

LRVC recommends all dogs that go to dog parks, boarding facility, doggy day care, or may be around other dogs frequently receive a Influenza vaccine. This vaccine requires 2 injections given 3 – 4 weeks apart, then a booster is given yearly thereafter.

  • Canine influenza is transmitted from dog to dog by respiratory secretions (i.e. coughing, sneezing, and barking). The virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, so dogs can pick up the virus from kennel surfaces, water and food bowls, collars, leashes, etc. The virus can live on clothing for 24 hours and on human hands for 12 hours, so people can also carry the virus from infected dogs to uninfected dogs. All dogs are susceptible to the virus at any time but dogs in restricted spaces (like shelters, boarding kennels, day care, etc.) are at a much higher risk.

Heartworm Test:

LRVC recommends dogs under 6 months of age to start oral heartworm prevention without testing. Dogs over 6 months will need to be tested before starting heartworm prevention. Dogs that are current and on consistent prevention need to be tested every 2 years.

  • The name is descriptive — these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs. A new infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the conditions listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. Therefore, diagnosis is made via a blood test and not a fecal exam.

Heartworm Prevention:

LRVC recommends heartworm prevention year-round for all canines. It is up to each individual canine owner to decide what is the best prevention for their canine.

  • Whether the preventive you choose is given as a pill or as an injection, all approved heartworm medications work by eliminating the immature (larval) stages of the heartworm parasite. Proheart 12 is an injectable heartworm prevention that last 12 months and can be given to healthy dogs after the age of 12 months of age. Oral heartworm (Heartgard or Iverheart max) is given once a month all year round. If you would like to keep your pet on heartworm prevention or start your pet on prevention you pet must have a current negative heartworm test.