Q:

How often does a dog need a Parvovirus shot?

A:

Adult dogs should receive a parvovirus vaccine every three years, says the American Animal Hospital Association. Puppies should receive a parvovirus vaccine as part of a standard immunization schedule. According to the ASPCA, puppies should receive the first parvovirus-related vaccine at six to eight weeks old, then receive a booster shot every four weeks until they are 16 to 20 weeks old. Puppies should have the final booster shot at one year old.

The parvovirus vaccine is part of a group of vaccines known as the "core vaccines," states the ASPCA. Core vaccines are usually given in a five-in-one shot that protects against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. This combination vaccine is also known as DHLPP, which name derives from the first letter of each disease it protects against, according to the Daily Puppy.

Puppies, adolescent dogs and unvaccinated dogs are at the highest risk for contracting parvovirus, warns the ASPCA. The organization notes that Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, American Staffordshire Terriers and German Shepherds have a higher risk of contracting the disease than other breeds. Wolves, coyotes and other members of the Canidae family also contract and spread canine parvovirus. Treatment for parvovirus requires hospitalization and medication, but the treatment is not guaranteed to work. The ASPCA notes that routine vaccinations offer the best way to protect against canine parvovirus.

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