Canine Veterinary Care in Connecticut and West Massachusetts

Dog Vaccinations

With over 50 million pet dogs in the United States alone, your dog is likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at some point in time. Even if you always keep your dog indoors, they can be exposed to viruses carried in the air, in dust, or on clothing.

Vaccinating your dog is a simple and inexpensive preventative measure that will guard against the many infectious diseases that could prove costly for your wallet or worse, result in the premature death of your pet. It is important to schedule an appointment with us to receive vaccines tailored to your dog’s health needs.

Below are the most important diseases for which we can provide vaccinations:


Rabies is a disease of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is often fatal and pose a serious risk to the pet owners and the general public. This is the main reason why all states require pets be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even dogs that are kept indoors can come in contact with a rabies carrier in a basement, garage, or attic. It is almost always fatal, vaccination is the only way to protect your pet.


Distemper is one of the two most common diseases of dogs. In some areas, it is very widespread. Signs include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. One of the first signs of distemper is squinting of the eyes. Once the virus enters the nervous system, convulsions, twitches, or partial paralysis become evident. It is spread through all body secretions and is highly contagious and can be fatal.


Since its devastating worldwide appearance in 1978, most dog owners have heard of parvo as it is a highly contagious virus. It causes an infectious gastrointestinal illness in puppies and young dogs. Without treatment this virus is potentially deadly. It is spread either by direct contact with an infected dog, or through contact with an infected dog’s feces. A dog that recovers from the disease remains a carrier, spreading the virus in its bowel movements for 1-3 months. Signs include vomiting, fever, depression, and diarrhea that often contain large amounts of blood. There is also another form in which the virus attacks the heart, causing heart attack and death.


Coronavirus is an intestinal infection resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and depression. It is extremely contagious and can even be lethal. Research shows Corona is linked to Parvovirus, and it is common for both infections to occur simultaneously in many dogs.


Bordetella, or tracheobronchitis, is more commonly known as kennel cough. It is an upper respiratory infection with the major symptom being a persistent, dry, hacking cough.


Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that causes serious illness in dog, other animals and people. The disease is caused by spiral-shaped bacteria called leptospires that live in water, or warm, wet soil. The organism is shed in the urine of an infected animal. Any animal, or person, can become infected once have direct or indirect contact with leptospires.

Initial signs of leptospirosis include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. If left untreated, it can develop into a more severe, life threatening illness that affects major internal organs.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis affects the dog’s liver. Spread through an infected dog’s urine, exposure can result in only a mild infection or can be as serious as death. Puppies are at most risk with this disease. Vaccination has controlled this disease for several years, making it rarely seen by veterinarians today.


The lyme disease vaccine helps prevent disease caused by borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick and can affect many species, including dogs and humans. Clinical signs of lyme disease may not appear for several months after a dog is infected. In fact, many dogs fail to display any obvious signs at all. Signs of infection may include the following: lethargy, fever, painful joints/lameness and loss of appetite. We recommend vaccination along with reliable tick prevention.

Canine Influenza

There are two identified strains of influenza virus that can affect our dogs which are classified as H3N8 and H3N2. Canine influenza is transmitted from dog to dog through coughing, and sneezing. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, so dogs can pick up the virus from kennel surfaces, water and food bowls, collars, leashes, etc. The virus can live on clothing for 24 hours and on human hands for 12 hours, so people can also carry the virus from infected dogs to uninfected dogs. All dogs are susceptible to the virus at any time but dogs in restricted spaces (like shelters, boarding kennels, day care, etc.) are at a much higher risk.

NOTE: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Corona virus are all available in one injection. A series of injections are required to develop the high level of immunity required in our area. Bordetalla Bronchitis (kennel cough) and Rabies must be given as separate injections.