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·        The letter "D" in DHPP stands for distemper, which is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect multiple organs including the brain, skin, eyes, intestinal and respiratory tracts of dogs. It can be transmitted through the bodily fluids of infected animals, including respiratory secretions. Due to its airborne nature, the virus can quickly infect dog populations in kennels or breeding facilities. The widespread use of the vaccine has contributed to a significant decline in the incidence of distemper infection throughout the United States.


·        Infectious Canine Hepatitis, or Canine Adenovirus Type 1, is primarily a disease of the liver transmitted through the bodily fluids of infected animals. The corneas of infected animals may appear cloudy or bluish, leading to the expression "hepatitis blue-eye" used to describe the unfortunate dog. Although there is no treatment for an infected dog, the disease can be prevented though routine DHPP vaccinations.


·        Parvovirus is a common and often deadly disease of the gastrointestinal tract seen most frequently in unvaccinated puppies. The highly contagious virus is spread through contaminated stool, or through contact with an environment in which the virus is present. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and severe, malodorous diarrhea. The DHPP vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the occurrence of parvovirus infection in dogs.


·        Canine Parainfluenza represents the final "P" in DHPP, and is the least serious of the diseases against which it protects. It is a highly contagious viral disease that irritates the respiratory tracts of infected dogs, causing dry, unproductive coughing. Its symptoms resemble those of bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough, and can be easily spread between animals. Although no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the regular administration of the DHPP vaccine is an excellent method of protection against these five common canine diseases.