The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dogs sometimes need fluid therapy as treatment for distemper

Dog Vaccine Primer 10 | Does My Dog Really Need a Distemper or Parvo Vaccine?

My dog is never around other dogs, why do I need vaccines for parvo and distemper? Legally, you don’t. Dogs are considered property in California, so you are not required to protect them from contagious canine diseases. Unlike, rabies, there are no regulations that dogs be vaccinated against these diseases. Boarding facilities, grooming salons, day care and classes can require your dog be current for distemper and parvo vaccines due to the higher probability of disease transmission in multi-dog settings. But, by and large, you have the ability choose to vaccinate based on your dog’s personal lifestyle. But maybe there is a source of infection from these diseases, even for the stay-at-home dog- wildlife


The canine distemper virus is common in raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes. How many of you have these visitors in your yard? Almost everybody that lives in southern California has. The Los Angeles Public Health department reports about 58-150 annual cases of raccoons showing signs of distemper. In 2017, there was an outbreak of distemper in raccoons in Redondo Beach and Wilmington. And who is the most likely family member to chase or get close to these visitors? Yes, the dog! Often these encounters are a night and you are unable to tell if there was contact with contagious nasal or eye discharges or ingestion of contaminated vomit or feces from infected animals by your dog.


Raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes can also spread canine parvovirus.

Since wildlife along with unvaccinated dogs pose a health risk to your dog, a wellness plan should include protection against distemper and parvo viruses. But does that mean vaccinating yearly? No. Dogs are protected for at least 3 years after vaccination. Some dogs carry antibodies against these viruses for longer periods.

Our Disease Prevention Program

-Avoid over-vaccinating. Vaccinate only every 3 years.

-Check vaccine titers yearly starting 3 years after the last distemper/parvo vaccination

-Vaccinate only when blood titer test indicate antibody protection is not adequate

-If possible, vaccinate for only the disease lacking protection

-Use mercury-free vaccines

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Dog Vaccine Primer 10 | Does My Dog Really Need a Distemper or Parvo Vaccine?

Dog Vaccine Primer

At THE WELL DOG PLACE Whenever you "Refer a Friend" you get $20 off AND they get $20 off their first exam. Call for an appointment:
(909) 929-0778