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5-Way Puppy Shots: Protect Your Dog Against These 5 Diseases

When people think about adopting a new puppy, they often picture warm hugs, adorable pictures, and bonding moments. Of course, there is more to caring for a dog than just cute stuff. You must care for your dog, providing it with everything it needs to be healthy and happy.

This care must include giving them DAPP vaccines, also called 5-way puppy shots, as required by your pet’s veterinarian. Canines are vulnerable to a variety of diseases, and we do not just mean rabies. Without adequate protection, they can easily catch some truly nasty and potentially lethal illnesses. Make sure to vaccinate your pet against the following five diseases in particular.


Canine distemper has nothing to do with tantrums. The first sign is a discharge in the eyes, and it goes on to affect multiple systems in the body. Respiratory symptoms include further discharge from the nose, coughing, and difficulties with breathing. Gastrointestinal effects include vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It may also cause the feet to develop hard pads, raise bodies to feverish temperatures, and leave the poor pet too tired to be active.

The nervous system may get it worst. The infected animal may keep its head tilted at an angle and start walking in circles for no discernable reason. Twitches, seizures, and paralysis may follow. If the dog survives, it does not truly get better. The damage to the nervous system often lingers in the disease’s wake.

Unfortunately, the odds of survival are low. Worse still is that canine distemper spreads easily, not just among canines but also among wildlife. Mothers can even pass it on to puppies through the placenta. Dogs under the age of four months are most susceptible to canine distemper. With that said, dogs of any age can catch it, spread it, and succumb to it if they are not properly vaccinated.


Adenovirus is not a disease in itself, but a family consisting of two distinct diseases. Each one spreads through different means and attacks different systems. What both have in common is that they spread easily, kill many of the infected, and leave lasting damage to survivors. We go over each one below.

CAV-1: Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Infectious canine hepatitis (ICH) has no relation to human hepatitis, and it cannot spread between the species. What they have in common is that ICH inflames the liver. It also affects the kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and more, causing side effects like jaundice, vomiting, loss of appetite, and more.

Death is a strong possibility, and survivors experience severe liver damage. Dogs may still spread it through their urine, feces, and spit for six months after recovery. If your pet has not had its 5-way puppy shot yet, keep it from making contact with other dogs’ waste.

CAV-2: Kennel Cough

The term “kennel cough” may refer to several diseases that spread like wildfire through kennels and other locations that pack many dogs in close quarters. Usually, though, it refers to the second adenovirus variant, which does not otherwise really have a common nickname.

The respiratory disease may cause sneezing, dry coughs, nasal discharge, fevers, and even pneumonia. While not as serious as ICH, CAV-2 is airborne, highly contagious, harmful, and unpleasant. Many kennels, dog hotels, and similar facilities will refuse to board if your dog is not vaccinated against it.


Another malady often labeled as kennel cough is canine parainfluenza. As with CAV-2, it is respiratory, attacking that system and spreading via that means. Puppies and unvaccinated pets can easily get it from other dogs, especially in concentrated locations where the disease can circulate through the air. You may even know of any issues for a whole week.

After seven days, though, symptoms may begin to appear. A dry cough is typical, and fever and nasal discharge may also be present. More alarmingly, especially for puppies who are still developing their resistance, is that canine parainfluenza weakens the immune system. If they get sick once, they can easily get sick again. They may even catch other illnesses at the same time.

One last note about parainfluenza: that the “para” prefix is important. This illness should not be confused with canine influenza, a wholly distinct disease with its vaccines. Your typical DAPP 5-way puppy shots will not vaccinate against it.


Canine parvovirus, often shortened to parvo, can spread in kennels like CAV-2 and parainfluenza. However, it is not an airborne respiratory disease. In addition to spreading through direct physical contact with an infected dog, it also spreads through contact with contaminated feces. Even trace amounts in various climates can carry and transmit parvo, making it a genuine threat both in indoor and outdoor environments.

Parvo comes with many of the symptoms we have already mentioned from other illnesses in this section. Fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting are common. However, this disease is not one that you should underestimate or dismiss. Its gastrointestinal impact often becomes apparent in the form of diarrhea, which may be bloody, and even septic shock. Dehydration may quickly result from all this waste and water expulsion.

Pet owners who discover any of these more severe symptoms should drop everything and contact their vet. Untreated parvo can kill a dog within three days. Death is not certain, but it is likely, and each hour without treatment only increases the odds.

Vaccinate Your Dog Right Away

All five of the diseases described in this article have something in common: there is no cure. Treatment, when possible, is designed to prolong body functions while the immune system fights off the illness. Survival is not guaranteed.

5-way puppy shots are so important because they vaccinate dogs against all of these diseases at once. If your pet is young and/or unvaccinated, you must make sure they receive their shots at the appropriate times. Contact your veterinarian immediately. If you need to get your hands on them yourself, you can order high-quality DAPP vaccines right here at Lambert Vet Supply. We make sure to offer great products and speedy delivery, so your pet can get vaccinated right away.