12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination

Canine vaccination is as important as human vaccinations. It not only helps to keep the serious disease on the bay but also protects your dog’s immune system. Each state in the US has its own law regarding canine vaccination with the exception of Rabies. The vaccination for rabies is mandatory in all states. You can be sure that like Rabies, you can prevent other serious diseases by administering vaccination to your dogs.

Why Canine Vaccination is Important?

Vaccines contain antigens that mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog’s immune system. It prepares a dog's immune system to defend itself from any invasion of the disease-causing organisms. The antigen mildly stimulates the immune system of the dog by having it recognize its presence.
The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force considers the following dog vaccinations to be core:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies

The non-core canine vaccines, but still important, include

  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine

12 Dog Diseases that can be prevented with Vaccine
Here is the list of 12 dangerous canine diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination.

Rabies (Zoonotic in nature)

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain. It’s primarily passed to dogs through a bite from an infected dog or wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, etc. It can easily transmit through a scratch or when infected saliva makes contact with mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.

Rabies is commonly treated by Nobivac®- Canine 1-DAPPv vaccine, a modified live virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by canine distemper virus, adenovirus type 1 (hepatitis), and adenovirus type 2 (respiratory disease), canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvovirus.

The only remedy for rabies is the proper vaccination. Dogs should be vaccinated between 3 and 6 months of age. They need a booster one year from that date. They’re generally vaccinated every three years.

Canine parvovirus infection ("parvo")

Parvo is a highly contagious virus that causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs. The deadly virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog or through feces. The Parvovirus can survive at room temperature for months hence it can easily transmit to dogs. Check for telltale signs such as bloody diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, fever, vomiting, etc. in dogs.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Vaccines for the parvovirus are recommended for all puppies and are usually given in a series of three shots when the pup is between 6-to-8 weeks old, again at 10-to-12 weeks, and at 14-to-16 weeks. Like rabies, a booster shot is administered one year later and every 3 years after that.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. It not only affects dogs but also wild animals. It’s a contagious and serious disease that can easily transmit from wild animals to dogs.


Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. Infected dogs often develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes followed by a fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting.


You should administer a distemper shot to puppies at six to eight weeks of age. All dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often.

Leptospirosis (Zoonotic in nature)

Leptospirosis is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water or warm, wet soil. Initial signs of leptospirosis in dogs include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Experts say that any dog that regularly goes outside the home is potentially at risk of contracting this disease.

It takes about 4-12 days for the bacteria to incubate. The four-serovar vaccine is currently the only vaccine recommended by experts for Leptospirosis. Revaccinating annually is often needed to maintain the best immunity.

Canine adenovirus-2

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is related to the hepatitis virus, canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). It leads to recessive or mild respiratory tract infections and may cause infectious laryngotracheitis and symptoms of pneumonia. It’s also one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough.

The joint vaccine is a core vaccine that contains live attenuated canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (CAV-2), canine parvovirus (C154), and canine parainfluenza virus. A joint vaccine is commonly administered to dogs to prevent CAV-2 infection.

Canine parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV) is a highly contagious respiratory virus common in dogs. It may develop in situations where large groups of dogs are close together for a period of time. CPIV is also one of the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as canine cough. It shouldn’t be mistaken with kennel cough. Although the respiratory signs may resemble those of canine influenza and CAV-2, they are unrelated viruses and require different vaccines for protection.

Canine enteric coronavirus

Canine coronavirus (CCoV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which is a member of the species Alphacoronavirus 1. Most dogs with canine coronavirus are contracted by oral contact with infected fecal matter. A dog may also become infected by eating from contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.

Be wary, canine coronavirus (CCoV) is not the same virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. Hence, the vaccine for CCoV should be used for treating COVID-19. The vaccine for CCoV is readily available but it’s not recommended for all dogs and will be administered based on your dog's lifestyle and risk assessment.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza or Dog Flu is influenza occurring in dogs that are caused by varieties of influenza virus A, such as equine influenza virus (H3N8). The Dog flu is airborne; respiratory secretions escape into the environment in the form of coughing, barking, and sneezing, where they are then inhaled by a new canine host. 

The vaccine for Canine influenza is easily available. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection (Lyme borreliosis) caused by the bite of flea and tick. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are especially likely to be found in tall grasses, thick brush, marshes, and woods. They easily jump into your dog’s coat.

The most common signs of Lyme disease include fever, loss of appetite, painful or swollen joints. The treatment includes antibiotics, usually for at least 30 days. As a preventive measure, you can check for flea and tick collar, vet-approved flea and tick preventive, and a vaccine.

Bordetellosis ("kennel cough")

Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is associated with respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.

The symptoms include a hacking cough, retching, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, pneumonia, inappetence, fever, etc.

Adult dogs that come into contact with large groups of other dogs should have a Bordetella vaccine annually.

Heartworm disease

Known as Dirofilaria immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature. It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito.

The symptoms include soft and dry cough, lethargy, weight loss, anorexia, difficulty in breathing, etc. 

It can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets; Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

Intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, etc., some of which can also infect people)

The intestinal worm is common in dogs. There are various kinds of worms contracted by dogs over their lifetime. They mostly contract it from their mother in the womb, by ingesting contaminated soil (soil with feces), eating another infected animal, and fleas.

We have a detail information on infographics as well:


You can easily get your dog screened for worm infections and find proper treatments. Flea preventive measure is often used as a vaccine to prevent intestinal worm.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding canine vaccines and preventive measures for healthy dog life.

Why you should Microchip your Pet?

The American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of 3 pets become lost at some point in their lifetime and close to 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the US every single year.

Many pets fall into grave danger when they get lost or stolen.  Almost 80% of the pets are never found!

Properly tagging your pet with an ID or Microchip can help locate it before it gets killed, lost forever, or is euthanized. Between 9.4 and 9.6 Million pets that wind up in shelters in the US are euthanized. Hence, a microchip ID can help find your pet before they walk up to “the Green Mile.”

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations such as Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar, and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

What is a Microchip?

Microchipping is the permanent method of ID-ing your pet. A tiny chip, the size of a rice grain, is implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet's neck. It acts as the electronic ID which can be detected using the unique ID number and a scanner.
The ID number includes all the detail about the pet and the owner in the microchip database registry. It comes really handy when your dog is lost in places where manually searching an animal is virtually impossible. The vet, animal shelter, or local council can scan your pet for a microchip and contact you via the database.

It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the database so that if you move house or change your phone number you will still be contactable in the event of your pet becoming lost/straying. You can check up with https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ to search for your pet when it gets lost or stolen.

When should you microchip your pet?

Ideally, it’s best to microchip your pet prior to you purchasing or adopting it. This is the only effective way to trace the origin of your pet. You can also microchip your pet whenever you feel right. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped then we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet immediately. You can always get in touch with some local council and animal welfare organizations that microchip pets.

How long does it take, and does it have to be done by a veterinarian?

It takes no less than the same amount of time it takes to give any injection. Few seconds! However, it may take a while to do the paperwork. Although it isn’t compulsory that it has to be done by a veterinarian, it’s recommended an experienced veterinarian do it.

What does it cost?

Getting your pet microchipped with only cost $50. You might get it done at a lesser cost when you bring your pet for a wellness check or any other procedure.

Have studies found an increased risk of cancer in pets with microchips?

Yes, many Science journals have pointed out the fact that microchipping pets can be harmful in a few cases. There were animals that had developed tumors at the site of the microchip but it’s incredibly rare. Compared to millions of animals that have had microchips implanted in them and million others who have lost, it’s a greater risk not to have your pet microchipped. However, we suggest you to decide to microchip your pet with your own discretion.

How will it help me get my pet back if he is lost?

A microchip isn’t a GPS tracker which can be traced using a GPS gadget. However, you can find a pet ID or tag inbuilt with a GPS tracker to help locate your pet. It just isn’t possible with a microchip.

A microchip will only work if someone picks up your pet and takes it to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a chip. If your pet isn’t scanned for a chip, the chances of locating it become 50/50.

If my pet is microchipped, does he need a tag, too?

Certainly, your pet needs an additional name tag on their collar to help identify them easily. You must understand that a microchip is only one part of your pet’s identification system. A collar with tags on it will help to easily identify them without the need to scan for a microchip. This is the way most pets were located in the past and it still works.

Benefits of Microchipping your Pets

There are many benefits to microchipping your pets. Some of the most recurring benefits are as follows:

  • When a lost pet is found and taken to a shelter, the first thing they will do is scan the pet for a possible microchip. Once the chip is located and scanned, they will check the information in the microchip registry to quickly locate the owner of the animal. This will immensely reduce the time taken to locate a pet. 
  • Microchip technology is designed to last your pet’s lifespan so there is no need to replace after a certain amount of time. 
  • If the implant of the microchip is done right, which is generally done by the experienced veterinarian, you can be sure that your pet is safe from any microchipping related complications. 
  • If your pet was adopted from a rescue shelter, there is a high possibility that they were already microchipped. You can simply update the information through the microchip registry.

For more detail information here is a detail info graphics about it. 


Pets that are microchipped are more likely to be returned to their owners. A study found that Dogs with microchips will be returned 52.2% of the time while dogs without will be returned 21.9% of the time and Cats with microchips were returned 38.5% of the time while without the microchip only 1.8% of the time.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Our certified veterinarian can help you with all the questions regarding safe microchipping on your pets. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

Safe Temperature for Dogs: How to prevent overheating?

Did you know that dogs can easily overheat when left in the sun? Like humans, dogs are prone to overheating and physical illness when the temperature rises above the normal.

There are many factors that determine the dog’s body temperature. One of the major reasons for overheating is the hot weather. If dogs are let out for a long time, they’ll quickly overheat and start dehydrating.

Dogs only sweat through sweat glands in the pads of their feet and noses. Unlike humans who sweat throughout the body, dogs lessen their body heat by continuous panting which isn't super-efficient so they can quickly become overheated.

Let’s learn more about overheating in dogs and how to control their temperature.

How to keep them safe from Overheating?

Here is how you can avoid your dog from overheating.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Many pet owners choose to leave their pets inside the car! This can be fatal! You shouldn’t leave them inside a car even for a minute! Many owners claim that they keep the air conditioner on or windows open but this doesn’t help either. On a warm day, the temperatures inside a car can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85F day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened can rise up to 102 F within 10 minutes.

It can easily lead to overheating and your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or even die. It’s better to keep them on a leash and tie them somewhere near under the shade.

Watch the humidity

Dr. Barry Kellog, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association claims that,

"It's important to remember that it's not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Some easy ways to control humidity includes

  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Replace Furnace / AC filters.
  • Take shorter or colder showers.

Limit exercise on hot days

Although your dog loves to play outside, you should consider limiting outdoor visits during summer. It’s better to avoid going out when the sun is up. Instead, you can switch the outdoor schedule to either early morning or in the evening. On a hot day the asphalt can get very hot that can burn your pet's sensitive paws. If you’re stepping outside during a hot day, consider carrying water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating. Use dog shoes and Vaseline to avoid heat burn.

If you often allow your do to exercise outside, you can consider bringing them in during summer.

Provide ample shade and water

Dogs often get dehydrated on a hot day. The lack of water consumption can easily lead to overheating and dehydration. Make sure you keep them away from the direct sun. Keep them inside and provide ample fresh cold water to keep their body heat in check. The best way to provide fresh water is by offering them a Frozen Treat Bowl. Make a solution of nutritious items and water and freeze them to make frozen kibble. The dogs enjoy eating them. This will help to keep them cool as well as provide enough nutrition.

Watch for signs of heatstroke

Overheating can invite heatstroke in dogs. This is why you shouldn’t let your dog stay outside for a longer duration of time. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, seizure, and unconsciousness.

The best way to avoid heatstroke is by setting up a pet’s pool in the backyard so your dog can stay inside the water. You can also wrap a wet towel around them to avoid overheating.

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke

When you notice that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Start applying ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

If the problem seems persistent, consider taking them directly to a veterinarian.

How to measure dog temperature?

There are telltale signs that your dog is overheating; excessive panting, lying on the floor motionless, or slowed breathing. It could easily turn into a fever and can be detrimental to their health but there’s no easy way to say this. You need to take your dog’s temperature to determine if it’s really overheating.

The thermometer should be placed in its bum to measure body temperature. As it can often be difficult to keep your dog still, it’s best if two people together on this particular project.

Before placing the thermometer, you should lubricate it well with Vaseline.

Raise its tail and push the thermometer into its rectum with a twist. It should go in one-three inches, depending on the size of your dog.

Hold it in place for two minutes, then remove it, wipe it quickly, and read the temperature.

Dog’s Fever

Fever is common in dogs throughout the year. However, in summer the fever becomes more common because of overheating, dehydration, and lack of nutrition. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. This implies that dogs may feel feverish even when its temperature is completely normal. A temperature of more than 103 F is considered a dog fever, although it can be 103 if a dog is very excited or stressed.

Be aware of the rising body temperature because when the temperature reaches 106 F, serious and fatal complications can occur.

Although there are no definite signs, some symptoms for fever in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depressed mood
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge

How to treat Dog’s Fever?

Here are some handy tips to treat dog fever.

Give them a bath

The first thing you can do is wiping their ears and paws with a tepid, wet cloth. This may help to bring its body temperature down.

Consider giving them a tepid bath. Ensure that the water isn’t ice cold. You can water a bit colder than lukewarm. Apply water to its ears, paws, chest, and abdomen. You can avoid using soap.

Hydrate them

Make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Put fresh water in your dog’s water bowl and encourage them to drink water. This will help to prevent dehydration from fever.

Visit the Vet

Your vet probably has the medical history of your dog which will help to diagnose the fever. They can only offer a solution after conducting proper tests including a physical exam, urinalysis, blood count, or a biochemistry profile. This will help to ascertain the exact reason for the fever and provide a proper solution. Many times, the fever in dogs is caused by an underlying infection but simply overheat.

Here is a quick Infographics for the brief information.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. We provide both mobile and on-location emergency services for pets. Our certified veterinarian will ensure that your pet is immediately treated for overheating, dehydration, or fever. Get in touch with us to learn more about precautionary measures for overheating.

How do you introduce your Old Dog to a New Dog ?

Many pet owners are unaware that they must introduce their old and new pets before they could really settle in. It may take a few weeks or months for an old dog to settle in with the new dog. Dogs are territorial animals and they do not appreciate some other animal invading their territory.

For the pet owners who wish to adopt a second dog, they must prepare themselves to bring two animals harmoniously together.

Melissa Bain, a professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says that,

Dogs are social animals, like humans. But that doesn’t mean they always want to be around other dogs.”

It’s important to introduce a dog to other dog’s presence in different settings such as both in and outside the house.

How to introduce dogs to Dogs?

Here are some handy tips to help you introduce your old dog to a new dog.

Solve Your Old Dog’s Bad Behaviors First

Sue Sternberg, a canine trainer, says

If your current dog barks at other dogs on the street, he will teach those behaviors to the new dog,”

If you’re working on issues with your current dogs, especially with their aggressive behaviors, now isn’t the time to add a new dog to the family.

1) Decide on a meeting place

It's better if you can find a neutral territory where your two dogs can meet and know each other -around the block, park, or someplace else. Let them sniff each other, it's the dog's way of a handshake. You can start by learning the signs of dislike or aggression. If one or the other becomes aggressive, you must control them to resolve the issue there itself.

2) On-Leash and Off-Leash 

Be careful about introducing your dog off-leash. It's always good to bring them together on-leash and once they get familiar with each other, you can let them off-leash. When on a leash, they can often show aggression which is a simple way of trying to establish dominance. Don't assume that they won't get along. Let them cool down and then get them off-leash.

Note: If your dogs are on the leash, you can grab the leashes and pull them apart in case of a fight.

3) Let them determine the pace of the introduction 

Let them decide how long they want to take to know each other well. It may just start with some play with each other by the middle of the walk. It may take weeks or a month as well.

The most important thing is to take this introduction slowly. The more patient you are, the better your chance of success. Do not force the dogs to interact.

Tip: Once the dogs are able to view each other at close proximity, allow each dog to walk behind the other. If they remain comfortable and calm, you can allow them to walk side by side. Do not haste with this process.

4) Don't leave them alone

It's not a good idea to leave your two dogs by themselves when they haven't known each other very well. Your old dog will definitely become aggressive and territorial. This could lead to a squabble. Don't It's not worth an injured or dead dog. If they're puppies, you can keep them in separate crates in two different rooms. If they're adults, you can lock them up in two different rooms. Dogs act like kids sometimes.

5) Separate their toys

A dog would want the other’s toy. The old dog must have its toys which it definitely wouldn’t want to share with the other. Make sure that there are no toys, food, or treats left around the home that the dogs could potentially fight over. You can separate toys in different rooms and allow them to play with them without the presence of the other. This could help avoid the sense of jealousy in either of the dogs.

6) Dine them separately

Food is often a great fight starter. Always keep them separate, possible in different areas of the house, while feeding them. It's good to avoid the confrontation when one dog gobbles and the other picks through every bite. An alpha dog is more likely to gobble their food and then eat the others too.

7) Don't change the Sleeping arrangement 

If your old dogs sleep with you on the same bed, do not change the arrangement suddenly. You can keep the other dog in a crate, a separate room, or on the floor. It's important to housebreak the new dog before you can allow them to sleep at a certain place. Be done with their potty training first!

8) Train separately 

It's always good to train with them one-on-one. It helps both dogs recognize you as the alpha. This way you can recognize the triggers of both the dogs and train them likewise. 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the most reliable pet hospital in Urbandale. We also offer the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to help board, groom and train you canine. Leave them in the care of our certified veterinarian and daycare trainers. We provide a conducive environment for the mental, physical, and social grooming of your pet.