Athens Veterinary Clinic

16 Pomeroy Rd
Athens, OH 45701


Athens Veterinary Clinic Canine Vaccination Guidelines 

Core Vaccines – These are highly recommended and/or required by law  

DAPPC (Distemper Virus, Adenovirus 1 & 2, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza 1 & 2, Coronavirus)- These are highly infectious viruses that can make dogs very sick and occasionally are lethal. Distemper can cause very serious respiratory and neurologic disease. Parvovirus is immune suppressive and causes severe diarrhea that can often be fatal without medical intervention. Adenovirus and Parainfluenza can cause respiratory and liver disease. Coronavirus is a common culprit of GI upset and diarrhea. Puppies should receive their first vaccine by 8-10 weeks of age and receive a booster every 2 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers have an increased risk of contracting parvo so we may recommend additional boosters in the initial puppy series. Any additional boosters are good for 3 years. 


Leptospirosis- “Lepto” is a bacterial species commonly found in the environment. It is commonly found in the urine of wildlife and stagnant water. There are multiple species of Leptospira (grippotyphosa, pomonacanicolaicterohaemarrhagiae) that when ingested can cause severe kidney or liver failure. Often, the damage to the kidneys is very sudden and irreversible. Leptospirosis is also a Zoonotic Disease meaning it can be transmitted to humans. Lepto is commonly administered with the DAPP vaccine (DAPPL), but it is recommended to booster yearly for this disease. 


Bordetella- Bordetella and Parainfluenza are causative agents of Kennel Cough –a very contagious disease that can cause coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge. It is highly recommended to booster it yearly if you go to the dog park or groomer. Also, many boarding kennels do require it prior to being allowed to board. It is important to note that this vaccine doesn’t totally eliminate the chance of contracting Kennel Cough, but it does lessen the severity if contracted. 


Rabies- Rabies is a well-known fatal disease that is transmitted by wild animals (raccoons, bats, foxes, etc). Rabies is often required by local government for licensure. Proof of rabies vaccination is also required prior to interstate and/or international travel. Any unvaccinated animal that bites a human is required to be held in quarantine to assess for signs of rabies. If an animal exhibits strange behavior in quarantine, it is euthanized to examine its brain for the virus. Rabies vaccine is administered to animals 12 weeks and older. It is boostered the following year and is good for 3 years. 

Non-Core Vaccines – These are risk-based vaccines based on activity of the dog 

 Lyme Disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)- Lyme disease is a zoonotic bacterium that is transmitted by Deer Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and was first discovered in Lyme, CT in the early 1970s. Lyme has become increasingly more common in the Ohio River Valley as ticks carrying the disease spread from the east coast. Lyme disease can cause various symptoms including: shifting lameness, fever, neurologic and cardiac issues as well as kidney failure. With the sudden uptick in cases in our area, we strongly recommend yearly boosters for this disease. Dogs who have never been vaccinated receive an initial vaccine and a booster 2-3 weeks later. Many dogs can be asymptomatic and it is important to check for tick-borne diseases when getting a yearly heartworm test (our heartworm test also tests for Lyme, Erhlichia and Anaplasmosis).

Influenza- The flu is a well-known virus in the human world. Influenza viruses are known for mutating over time which makes them difficult to make vaccines for and they are capable of jumping from species to species. The most recent strain of canine influenza is thought to have been transferred by a racehorse to a Greyhound at a Florida racetrack. The current influenza vaccine for use in dogs covers the two known strains (H3N8 and H3N2) and is recommended for yearly boosters. Influenza can have similar symptoms to Kennel Cough and is recommended for dogs that regularly go to social places such as the dog park, groomer or boarding kennel.