What is it?

The DAPPV vaccine is an extremely effective way to protect your dog against five highly contagious and life-threatening canine diseases: canine distemper (that’s the D part of the vaccine name), adenovirus and hepatitis (both represented by the A since hepatitis is an adenovirus), parainfluenza (the first P), and parvovirus (the PV at the end of the name).

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious, often fatal disease, caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Canines can be infected through airborne exposure to the virus from an infected dog or animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months, and mother dogs can pass the virus through the placenta to their puppies.

If infected, dogs will develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes. They then develop fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting. As the virus attacks the nervous system, they develop circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions with jaw chewing movements and salivation, seizures, and partial or complete paralysis.


Adenoviruses are a group of structurally similar viruses containing a single molecule of unenclosed DNA. Adenoviruses are spread directly from dog to dog through infected respiratory secretions or by contact with contaminated feces or urine. Symptoms can include a dry, hacking cough, retching, and gagging, coughing up white foamy discharge, conjunctivitis, fever, lethargy, anorexia, and nasal discharge.


Infectious canine hepatitis is an acute contagious disease. This virus targets the spleen, kidneys, lungs, liver, the lining of blood vessels, and sometimes other organs. Symptoms can vary widely from a slight fever, thirst, or apathy to death.


Parainfluenza is a virus that has similar symptoms to influenza, but it is a distinct disease. It’s related to canine distemper. Parainfluenza is a part of a respiratory complex that is highly transmissible. Dogs with a recent parainfluenza infection can also have additional problems like kennel cough. Sometimes, dogs with parainfluenza can also have bordetella, adenovirus, and pneumonia at the same time.

Coughing is the most common symptom of parainfluenza. The cough can be a dry or a wet, productive one. Your dog may also cough up blood. In addition to coughing, your dog will likely have a fever and look and act like he is not well. He may not eat or show interest in their usual activities. You will also see more nasal discharge than usual.


Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. Dogs that are ill from canine parvovirus infection are often said to have “parvo.”

The virus affects dogs’ gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces (stool), environments, or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, and drying, and can survive in the environment for long periods. Even trace amounts of feces from an infected dog may harbor the virus and infect other dogs that come into the infected environment. The virus is readily transmitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects.

Some of the signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and damage to the intestines and immune system can cause septic shock.

How can I prevent my dog from getting D, A, P, OR PV?

Many of the diseases that are prevented by this combination vaccine have no effective treatment other than supportive care; however, vaccination can prevent these diseases. Talk to your vet to learn more about the DAPPV vaccine!