12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination & Deworming

12 Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccination & Deworming

Dogs are susceptible to various diseases. Much like their human counterparts, sometimes dogs wind up sick. While there are some things that cannot be prevented, there are certain preventative measures that you can take to ensure that your dog remains happy and healthy. Two of these preventative measures are vaccinating and deworming.

While simple in their execution, vaccinating and deworming can help combat a wide range of canine diseases. Here are 12 dog diseases that you can combat with vaccination and deworming.

1. Rabies

Rabies is 100% preventable and vaccinations play a key role in its preventability. Make sure that your dog has been vaccinated for rabies as it is one of the “core” vaccinations. This not only protects your dog, but you as well, because rabies can be passed on to humans. Further, up-to-date rabies vaccinations are usually required for those looking to rent dog-friendly homes. A once fatal disease, rabies vaccinations have greatly decreased the number of dogs affected.

2. Canine Parvovirus

Commonly known as “parvo,” the canine parvovirus is a very contagious virus that affects a dog’s intestinal tract and is spread by direct contact with other dogs or with contaminated environments (food and/or water bowls), stool, or humans. Symptoms include lethargy, fever or hypothermia, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, and shock. Unfortunately, once affected, if not treated immediately, death usually follows 48 to 72-hours after symptoms present. Dogs should receive a vaccination for parvovirus at 14 to 16 weeks of age and should then receive routine vaccinations throughout the span of their lives to prevent parvovirus. If you are unsure of your dog’s immunity to parvovirus, your veterinarian can run a titer test.

3. Canine Distemper

Canine distemper disease attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems of dogs and is usually spread through sneezing or coughing (but can also be spread by sharing food and water bowls). Additionally, canine distemper affects the wildlife population as well and is frequently seen in raccoons; this results in an added risk to indoor dogs that may come into contact with a neighborhood raccoon. A series of vaccinations can help dogs build up an immunity to the disease, however, puppies under four months of age are at risk as they have not yet been vaccinated for the disease. It is recommended that until your puppy has been vaccinated, it is not brought to a kennel or dog park.

4. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is caused by Leptospira bacteria. The Leptospira bacteria are commonly found in water and in soil and can be spread from dogs to humans. To protect your dog against leptospirosis, an annual vaccination is recommended. Dogs most at risk are dogs that drink from lakes, rivers, and/or streams or dogs that are able to roam on rural properties or that come into contact with livestock. Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, water retention, muscle tenderness, increased thirst, and jaundice. If left untreated, leptospirosis can cause lung disease, kidney failure, liver failure, and/or death.

5. Canine Adenovirus-2

Canine adenovirus type 2 is spread from dog to dog and usually results in infectious tracheobronchitis (canine cough) or hepatitis. The vaccine for CAV-2 is used to help prevent hepatitis (which can cause fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea) and to help reduce the effects of respiratory disease (which can cause hacking coughs, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, and retching). While the CAV-2 vaccine does not entirely prevent a dog from contracting canine adenovirus-2, it does limit the infection’s severity (this is similar to a human receiving the flu shot, contracting the flu, and having a milder flu due to the effects of the flu shot).

6. Canine Parainfluenza

Canine parainfluenza is highly contagious and is commonly spread in shelters, boarding kennels, doggie daycares, groomers, dog parks, and rescue centers. A vaccine can help prevent the disease and is usually given at the same time as the canine adenovirus-2 vaccination and the Bordetella vaccination. If you are planning on boarding your dog for whatever reason, it is wise to speak with your veterinarian about making sure that your dog is up-to-date with his or her various “kennel” vaccinations.

7. Canine Enteric Coronavirus

Dogs usually contract canine enteric coronavirus by having contact with infected stool. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, and fever. The most at-risk for severe complications from the highly contagious infection are puppies under the age of 12 weeks; this is why many veterinarians recommend steering clear of boarding kennels, dog parks, or shelters when a puppy is still very young.

8. Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is very contagious and can be spread by direct contact, contaminated objects, and by humans. Dogs of any age and breed can become infected. Vaccines are available for both strains of the infection and should be given to dogs at risk of exposure (dogs that frequent dog parks, kennels, social events, etc.).

9. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a serious disease that is transmitted through a tick bite and is often difficult to detect in dogs. It is also a “reportable disease;” this means that if your dog has contracted the disease, your veterinarian is legally required to report the case to your local health department. Preventative measures like certain tick-preventative medications, as well as vaccinations, are encouraged.

10. Bordetellosis

Commonly known as “kennel cough,” bordetellosis causes the respiratory system of a dog to become inflamed. This inflammation then causes coughing and susceptibility to secondary infections. Often seen in kennels, kennel cough is spread easily from dog to dog. If your dog frequents kennels or dog parks, your veterinarian will likely recommend the bordetellosis vaccine.

11. Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is entirely preventable. If contracted, however, it can be fatal. A parasite that infects cats, ferrets, and dogs alike, the heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos. All dogs are susceptible, even dogs that live primarily indoors (as mosquitos can get into the home as well).

Unfortunately, once infected, symptoms may not present until the disease has progressed. These symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. Once infected, treatments are available, however, they do come with some risks. The most severe cases will likely require surgical intervention to have the worms surgically removed. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to heartworm disease. There are many FDA-approved preventatives available in pill or topical forms.

12. Intestinal Worms

Another parasite that is easily prevented through medication is the intestinal worm. There are many different kinds of intestinal worms; the most common being roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. If your dog has an intestinal worm problem, a de-wormer will be prescribed by your veterinarian. To prevent worms, in addition to using a wormer, removing stool from your yard and being vigilant when at the dog park are two important measures that dog owners should take.  Finally, humans can contract worms from their pets, so it is important to take your veterinarian’s advice seriously and to use worming medications as prescribed.

While you cannot protect your dog from every illness, you can take the preventative measures necessary to ensure that he or she is protected from some of the most common canine diseases. By following your veterinarian’s vaccination recommendations and by using worming medications, you can help protect your dog from a wide range of illnesses.


We know your dog is a cherished member of your family, so our entire team shares a commitment to provide the best, most compassionate veterinary care for your dog. We offer a variety of dog services to in the Pflugerville/Austin-Round Rock, TX area including vaccinesdental careweight managementsenior care, and more. Call (512) 251-BARK today to learn more!