DHPP stands for Distemper, hepatitis, parvo and parainfluenza. Adult dogs usually also have a leptospirosis vaccine included.
The vaccine comes in a vial as a dry mix. Right before injection, it is mixed with sterile diluent to become a liquid. It is pink in color. In small dogs, our clinic usually recommends giving some type of glucose, because this injection tends to lower blood sugar and small dogs tend to have more reaction because of thier size. The same dose is given no matter the dogs body weight.
The following information comes from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association).
Canine distemper is the greatest single threat to the world's canine population. It occurs wherever there are dogs. Among puppies, the death rate from Canine Distemper often reaches 80%. The disease also strikes older dogs, although much less frequently. Even if a dog does not die, it can be permanently impaired, due to irreparable damage to the nervous system, the sense of smell hearing or sight. Partial or total paralysis is not uncommon, and other opportunistic diseases, such as pneumonia frequently strike dogs weakened by a distemper infection.
Canine Distemper is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS and is caused by a virus.
It is usually transmitted through contact with respiratory secretions, (similar to the way we humans catch colds!). Contact with urine and feces of an infected dog may also transmit infection.
SYMPTOMS fever, "stuffed up" head. or severe cold symptoms. Early signs include squinting, eye congestion and a pus like discharge from the eye. Weight loss, coughing, vomiting, nasal discharge and diarrhea. Later symptoms may include paralysis, seizures, or twitching. Dogs are listless and have poor appetites. Occassionally, the virus causes rapid growth of the tough keratin cells on the footpad, resulting in a hardened pad.
DIstemper is so prevalent and the signs are so varied that and sick dog should be seen by a veterinarian immediately for a difinitive diagnosis.