Common Dog Vaccinations



It’s very important to keep up with different dog vaccinations for your Chi, if your breeder hasn’t took care of that already. If it has been awhile since you had a new puppy, you may think all vaccination programs are similar. They used to be, but they aren’t anymore. Today, dog vaccines are divided into core and non-core.

Core vaccines are the ones recommended for all dogs in a particular area. Non-core vaccines give dogs additional protection in special circumstances. For example, if you live in the northeast part of the United States and your dog is pretty much a stay-at-home pet, your vet will recommend one series of shots. But if you and your dog will do a lot of traveling, your Chi will need the extra protection of non-core vaccines.

If you plan to travel with your dog, tell your vet because exposure to strange dogs and new places may demand extra precautions.

Taking extra precautions for Chihuahuas

Scheduling dog vaccinations for Toy dogs is different from other dogs like Doberman Pinscher. Chihuahuas and other Toy dogs are more likely to have allergic reactions to some of the common combination vaccines. In fact, sometimes they come through their first vaccinations just fine but then get sick from the second or third round. That’s why many vets separate the shots and give tiny dogs their parvo shots alone rather than in combination with other vaccines.

Your puppy’s vaccinations must never be closer than two weeks apart. Three to four weeks apart is ideal. Your vet will recommend the proper schedule for your pup.An allergic reaction to an injection is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. The sooner treatment to counteract the reaction begins, the better the chances of survival. Discuss allergic reactions with your vet during the first visit.

Although your Chihuahua may not get the whole combination in one shot, one of the most common vaccines given to dogs is a combination shot known as the DHLPP. So let’s see what DHLPP stands for:


Distemper, a highly contagious airborne disease, is the number-one killer of unvaccinated dogs. It’s victims usually are puppies, although older dogs may come down with it, too. Symptoms include some but not all of the following: diarrhea, vomiting, reduced appetite, cough, nasal discharge, inflamed eyes, fever, convulsions, exhaustion, and lack of interest in toys, games, or attention.

Although dogs with distemper occasionally recover, they may suffer permanent damage to the brain or nervous system. Dogs that receive treatment immediately have the best chance of survival.


Infectious hepatitis in dogs affects the liver just as it does in humans, but humans don’t cache the canine form. In dogs, it spreads through contact with an infected dog’s stool, saliva, or urine. Intense thirst is one specific symptom, but all other symptoms are similar to those of distemper. Hepatitis progresses very fast and often is fatal.


Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochete, a microorganism that’s often carried by rats. A dog that has contact with a rat can become infected, as can one that eats something contaminated by rats. This bacterial infection can cause permanent kidney damage.


Parvovirus attacks the stomach lining, lining of the small intestine, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. It’s highly contagious and spreads through contaminated stools. Beginning with depression or exhaustion and a loss of appetite, symptoms soon progress to vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Puppies with infected hearts often die suddenly or within a day or two of contracting the disease. Those few that recover may suffer chronic heart problems.

P also is for parainfluenza

Parainfluenza also commonly called kennel cough, spreads rapidly from dog to dog. It’s caused by several different viruses, as well as bacterium. Symptoms are frequent, dry, hacking cough and sometimes nasal discharge. Dogs vaccinated against parainfluenza sometimes get the condition anyway, but they usually have milder symptoms than unvaccinated dogs.


Rabies always is fatal to dogs. And a dog with rabies is a danger to humans and other animals. Rabies is a virus that can infect dogs that come in contact with cats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, or other warm-blooded animals that already have the virus. It affects the nervous system and is generally passed from animal to animal or animal to human through infected saliva.

One of the first signs of rabies is a difference in disposition. A gentle dog may start to act aggressive, or an independent dog may suddenly crave affection. As the disease progresses its symptoms can include bared teeth, random biting, lack of coordination, twitching facial muscles, and loss of control of the facial muscles, resulting in an open mouth with the tongue hanging out.

Rabies vaccine prevents this dreaded disease. Your vet will give the rabies shot to your Chi separately, not in combination with other vaccines.

Other deadly diseases

Your vet may recommend dog vaccinations against Lyme disease, Bordetella, Giardia, Corona, and Andenovirus, depending on where you live:

  • Lyme disease: attacks nerve tissue, joints, the heart, and, occasionally, the kidneys. Its symptoms include lameness due to joint pain, loss of appetite, and fever.
  • Bordatella: is contagious and potentially serious respiratory disease that breaks out most often during the summer months when many dogs spend a week or so at the boarding kennel.
  • Giardia: is an intestinal parasite that dogs can pick up by drinking water contaminated by feces.
  • Corona: is a virus that’s transmitted via the stool of an infected dog. Although this virus can cause dangerous diarrhea in puppies, adult dogs usually shake it off in a matters of days. Let your vet to decide if your Chi needs protection from corona virus.
  • Two types of adenovirus exist. One causes a respiratory infection and the other causes hepatitis, which can lead to liver and kidney damage.

These days, most common dog vaccinations can protect your little friend against all these diseases. But just because a vaccine exists, doesn’t mean your dog needs it, so let your veterinarian decide after consulting with you.

Common Dog Vaccinations was last modified: by