Lhasa Apso Vaccinations, Why and When you Should do Them


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When I was young my mother took me along to the doctors to be vaccinated against all sorts of diseases that humans can pick up during a lifetime. Just as my mother cared for me we must take care of our Lhasa Apsos from an early age. In this post, I’m going to explain to you when and why you should vaccinate your Lhasa Apsos.

Lhasa Apso vaccinations should be carried out from the early weeks in life. To prevent the numerous diseases that our precious pets can get during their existence. Vaccinations are vital.  This responsibility is yours, your Lhasa Apso may even die if they don’t get their proper vaccinations in time.

  1. Canine Distemper
  2. Canine Hepatitis
  3. Bordetella Bronchiseptica
  4. Heartworm
  5. Coronavirus
  6. Canine Parainfluenza
  7. Leptospirosis
  8. Kennel Cough
  9. Lyme Disease
  10. Parvovirus
  11. Rabies

As you read on through this post I want to convince you of the importance of the vaccinations necessary for your Lhasa Apso. The consequences if you do not vaccinate your dog will become life-threatening for them.


Why Your Puppy Needs these Vaccinations

Now you have your new Lhasa Apso puppy at home you need to think about getting them vaccinated against those 11 diseases above. At this moment your puppy is so cuddly and full of life, no doubt smelling nice as you keep them clean and brushed. But life-threatening dangers are lurking just a short time away that could seriously affect or even kill your beautiful little one.

Your puppy needs these vaccinations to help them lead a healthy disease-free life. Even though it might seem an inconvenience for you to take them down to your local veterinarian it is something you will be glad you will have done.

The diseases stated above are dangerous and could be fatal for your Lhasa Apso but these can be prevented by the vaccinations.  With so many diseases, there will be a large and confusing number of vaccinations your puppies are going to need. Do they need one for every disease or are some vaccinations made with two or three formulas where they can treat more than one disease?

Vaccinating, of course, will not only protect your dog, but you will also be protecting other dogs that come into contact with yours. Not spreading any diseases because your dog is vaccinated, which in the perfect world would mean no dog diseases, but unfortunately, we do not live in that perfect world.

As in human vaccinations, dog vaccinations are either a weak form of or a copy of the disease, made in laboratories. Once your Lhasa Apso has been inoculated against one of the specific diseases their body will start to create antibodies to fight that particular disease. Later in life if they contract that specific disease the antibodies that were created after the inoculation will then go and fight off the invading disease more effectively.

The success of vaccinating our pets has seen an enormous drop in fatalities. There are some diseases that have become almost eradicated thanks to vaccinations. A responsible owner will vaccinate his Lhasa Apso,  an irresponsible owner who does not vaccinate his dog is contributing to these eradicated diseases making a comeback.


When Should you Vaccinate your Puppy?

Vaccinating will need to start between 6 and 8 weeks against Measles, Parainfluenza and Distemper

Vaccinations called DHPP will be introduced between 10 and 12 weeks, this is against Distemper and Adenovirus, which is Hepatitis, and again Parainfluenza and Parvovirus

The vaccination against rabies will occur between 12 and 24 weeks but prior to this, between weeks 14 16, another DHPP vaccination is required.

From 12 to 16 months Rabies, DHPP are necessary.

Thereafter every 1 to 2 years dhpp.

And every 1 to 3 years Rabies, this is required by law.

Here is a chart to help remember the time schedules

Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations
6 — 8 weeks Distemper, measles, parainfluenza Bordetella
10 — 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus) Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
12 — 24 weeks Rabies none
14 — 16 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
12 — 16 months Rabies, DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 2 years DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 3 years Rabies (as required by law) none

Opinions vary from veterinaire to veterinarian about having your pet vaccinated every year. Some are saying having too many vaccinations in older dogs could create more of a health risk. While others believe the contrary, to prevent dangerous diseases yearly vaccinations are essential they belive.

A Puppy at the Vets


The Effects of these Diseases on your Lhasa Apso

Not vaccinating your dog exposes them to contracting any one of the diseases mentioned above, let’s look at these diseases one at a time, what the effect will have on the health of your pet.


What is Distemper?  Canine distemper is a viral illness that is very contagious, there is no known cure. It attacks many forms of animals and wildlife including our dogs. The distemper virus is a member of the group of viruses that attack humans, similar to measles, there are also other distemper viruses that attack cattle and pork, so as you can see this is a widespread virus and needs to be kept under control.

A young puppy will be much more open to contract this viral disease. You and I can assist in reducing this virus by vaccinating our young puppies as soon as possible against the distemper virus. In the chart above we can see a puppy should be vaccinated against canine distemper at around 6 weeks old.

Signs of distemper

As with all illnesses, you will notice your pet behaving differently from normal. At the beginning of contracting canine distemper your pet’s temperature will rise to fever levels, around 39.7 degrees Celsius, visual signs to watch for will be a runny nose and eyes, which may also become reddened.

More signs will be diarrhea, being sick and coughing constantly.  Add to this the reduction of food intake, becoming tired and lethargic, resulting in your dog losing weight.  The canine distemper virus as it becomes installed in your dog’s body then starts to attack other systems and especially their nervous system, their brain is not left out of this viral attack. Obviously the attack of the brain and your pet’s nervous system will become evident when you see your dog having seizures, fits, attacks of hysteria.

Also, check their paws, if you notice your Lhasa Apsos paw pads becoming large and thickening this may also be a sign of canine distemper, some variations of the virus can create this effect. Unfortunately, dogs that have an immune system that has been weakened due to other factors or illness could within two to five weeks after the onset of canine distemper die.

How can your dog become infected by canine distemper?

The reason is not vaccinating your puppy, when they are mixing with infected dogs your puppy can contract the disease.

How can you treat distemper?

As I outlined at the beginning of this article there is no cure. There is no treatment available to cure this viral disease. If your dog has canine distemper then all a veterinarian can do is to make the conditions less painful for your pet. There will be a need to feed your Lhasa Apso by intravenous drips to make sure they receive the proper nourishment. You will also need to keep their eyes and nose properly cleaned using moist cotton pads. As your Lhasa Apso becomes weakened by the distemper virus antibiotics may be given to help control any secondary infections from bacteria, if your puppy is beginning to have seizures or convulsions potassium bromide and phenobarbitals may be needed to control these problems.

Canine Hepatitis

What is canine hepatitis? Canine hepatitis is an infection in your dog’s liver, this infection was originally called canine adenovirus.  Although called canine hepatitis, it can also affect bears, wolves, coyotes, and foxes so it is not restricted just to dogs, it is everywhere.

What are The Signs of Canine Hepatitis?

Typical canine hepatitis signs are a sore tummy, coughing, sadness in your Lhasa Apso, including a loss of appetite and high temperatures, up to fever levels. More signs include jaundice, being sick, and in really bad cases bleeding disorders inside the body that will eventually create hematomas that can form in the mouth.

How is Hepatitis contracted?

The hepatitis virus is contracted through blood, stools, urine, saliva and runny noses from infected dogs. The virus will enter by the nose or mouth of the host animal. After a period of 4 to 7 days of incubation, the virus will then continue its journey to the liver and kidneys.

How can you treat hepatitis?

This virus is treated symptomatically, almost all dogs recover having no treatment. Of course to prevent your pet contracting hepatitis you must vaccinate against it. One recent study concerning the vaccine against hepatitis has shown that immunity against this virus can last up to 4 years.

If your Lhasa Apso has contracted hepatitis and is now recovering you should steam clean everywhere, kennels, the area where they have slept, very hot steam will destroy the virus, which can live for several months in ideal conditions. One final observation before we finish on hepatitis is, the virus can still be in your dog’s urine for up to a year later, so be vigilant.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

What is Bordetella Bronchiseptica?  Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a bacteria that causes a runny snotty nose and a hacking type of cough which is easily contracted by our pets. This bacteria is common in dogs and it is a disease that will affect the respiratory functions. It is also known to affect rabbits and cats, humans have also been known to contract it in very rare cases.

How do dogs contract Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

In our canine world, it is called kennel cough. This virus is extremely contagious and can be passed from one dog to another through the air or by direct contact with other dogs.

What are the signs of Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

Kennel cough as it suggests will involve constant coughing of your dog, it may sound as though there is something stuck in their throat and they’re trying to cough it up. This is one of the side effects, a sore throat your dog may be suffering from the constant coughing.

As with most illnesses, your dog will have a high temperature, running a fever, and will appear to be constantly tired, the nose of your dog may be runny with greenish or white discharge.

How can you treat Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

Fortunately, if your Lhasa Apso has contracted Bordetella bronchiseptica and it is only mild infection, supportive treatment will cure the problem. To help reduce the chances of a secondary attack antibiotics may be administered. Maybe your pet is having difficulty breathing, (Lhasa Apsos have a shorter muzzle) this could become a problem later. Cough suppressants or medication to help this could be prescribed. To help relieve your pet’s suffering when walking use a harness and not a collar, which will pull on their throat, increasing their soreness and irritation.


What is Heartworm? Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease, known as Dirofilariasis in the medical world ( I am not going to try to say that again) it is a parasite that is carried in the blood. As the word suggests these are real worms that get inside a dog’s heart and the arteries of the lungs.

It is almost unimaginable that these worms are circulating inside their little hearts. The female worm can grow to 15 to 36 cm long and 5 mm wide!  On the other hand, the male heartworm will be around half this size. Now I have a phobia of garden worms and to know worms as long as this could be inside my little Lucky’s body makes me want to be sick. There can be as many as 300 worms inside their body, yuck.

Once your pet has been diagnosed with heartworm, these little slimy things can live up to 5 years inside your pet’s body. The female worms during these 5 years can produce millions of baby worms called microfilaria, these small worms will start their life in the small vessels of the bloodstream before their turn attacking the heart and larger blood vessels.

What are the Signs of Heartworm?

Your Lhasa Apso may have been infected several years beforehand without your knowing it. The first signs of heartworm do not start to show for several years after the initial infection. For this reason, Heartworm is not seen in young puppies, it will be diagnosed in younger dogs from 2 to 8 years old.

Typical signs to look out for if your dog in this disease will be a soft dry cough, a loss of stamina, they will have breathing problems. Because the worms are also in the lungs these symptoms will be more noticeable after exercises. In cases where a dog is severely attacked by heartworm, they could suddenly die through overexertion.

How do Dogs get Heartworm?

This disease is not contracted when a dog has physical contact with other dogs. It is spread by mosquitoes. If a mosquito has bitten an infected dog,  then lands on your dog and bites your dog, then the infection is passed on. We can see from studies that heartworm cases increase when the mosquito season is in full swing.

Is Heartworm Treatable?

Yes, heartworm is treatable, with today’s new drugs 95% of dogs suffering from heartworm have a successful recovery. In some diagnosed dogs that have heartworm in an advanced stage it will be decided by the veterinarian to treat the damaged organs before killing the heart worms. Sadly dogs at this advanced stage will only have a few months to live.

Dogs that have been diagnosed with heartworm at an early stage will be treated by injection. The medicine treatment used to combat heartworm is called melarsomine. This drug will kill the adult heartworms in the vessels and inside the heart. The treatment has to be carried out over a period of time which will include several injections.

After the first administration of the drug via this injection procedure your dog will need to rest for 30 days. Thereafter your veterinarian will decide a schedule where your Lhasa Apso will need at least two or maybe more injections which will be spaced out at daily intervals.

There may also be an antibiotic treatment with a drug called doxycycline after the melarsomine treatment. These antibiotics are used to fight off any infection of bacteria that actually live inside the heartworm.

Canine Coronavirus

What is Canine Coronavirus? This viral disease infects the intestines and is very contagious. It is specific to wild and domestic dogs worldwide. Once a puppy has been infected by the virus this same virus then duplicates in the small intestine of your puppy.

Canine Coronavirus is classed as a mild disease on its own. On very rare occasions some puppies have known to have died if they have canine coronavirus combined with other viruses which affect the intestines.

What are the Signs of Canine Coronavirus?

There will often be no visible signs of this disease. A large majority of dogs that have this illness will show no signs. Thus making it difficult to detect, there are two signs to take note of,  the first could be a couple of days of uncontrollable diarrhea. Noticing their feces having an orange or yellow-greenish colour and liquid should alert you to an intestinal problem. Very young puppies can actually die as a result of canine coronavirus which can cause severe inflammation of their small intestine.

How do Dogs Catch Canine Coronavirus?

Your Lhasa Apso can catch canine coronavirus if they are in kennel areas. When other dog excrements are left lying in the compound which are from infected dogs. Your dog risks catching canine coronavirus when walking in park, unfortunately, some owners do not collect their dog’s feces.

What is the Best way to Combat Canine Coronavirus?

The best way to combat canine coronavirus is a vaccination against the virus when your dog is still a puppy. If you notice your puppy suffering from the symptoms stated above seek veterinarian expertise immediately, as these conditions are often fatal for very young puppies.

Keeping your dog isolated will help prevent the disease from spreading. Being extremely vigilant when out walking helps, make sure that your Lhasa Apso does not lick or try to eat feces of other dogs.


What is Leptospirosis?  The bacteria leptospira attacks the kidney and liver of our dogs. Being an infectious disease it is passed from dog to dog. Leptospira bacteria multiply in the bloodstream and will then pass on to the kidneys and livers.

What are the Symptoms of Leptospirosis?

If your Lhasa Apso has lost his appetite, tired, seems depressed, has a high temperature, being sick, drinking much more and urinating more. These are all the signs and symptoms that your dog has leptospirosis, needing urgent medical care.

A symptom called jaundice can also develop inside their mouth, you will also notice the whites of their eyes turning yellow. Leptospirosis once contracted develops fast and on rare occasions within a few days it can turn out to be deadly.  On the contrary, some dogs that contract the disease in a mild form will not show these symptoms which may allow the leptospirosis to go undetected.

How do dogs catch Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is caught with direct contact with infected urine with the bacteria leptospira. Some dogs can catch this disease when they drink water that may be infected where another dog has urinated into a puddle. Being such a small bacteria the leptospira can also infect your pet through soft skin tissue which can include their nose, their eyes, their mouth and even broken skin areas, for example, scratches and broken sores on their skin.

How is Leptospirosis Treated?

Your dog can contract the bacteria leptospira from urine of infected dogs.  We all know how much are dogs enjoy sniffing around trees and lamp posts where other dogs urinate,  which of course are markers. In doing so they are increasing the risk of catching the leptospira bacteria. Are you fortunate enough to be living in the countryside? Be on your guard as even skunks, wolves, deer, raccoons and many other wild animals can spread this leptospira bacteria.

Lyme Disease

Borrelia Burgdorferi is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This bacteria can be picked up by ticks that will become the vector and pass it on to our dogs. The first case ever found was in Lyme Connecticut.  Lyme disease is regularly found in the northeastern States, upper midwest and also in Californian states, but is also found in the other 48 states on the continent. Anywhere that Ixodes ticks can be found there is a strong chance that dogs can contract Lyme disease.

What are Lyme Disease Symptoms?

Taking between 2 to 5 months after the infection and incubation period symptoms will come in three states.

The first one is acute, which will include a slowness in all their movements, a reluctance to eat, tiredness, a depressive attitude, high temperatures with fever, severe arthritis, joints that may be swollen, when you touch them will feel warm, you’ll also notice that their lymph nodes become swollen and they have a strange movement from standing on one pair of legs to the other pair of legs to reduce their pain.

The second state of Lyme Disease called subacute is a continuation of joint inflammation and arthritis causing an ongoing lameness.

The final state of Lyme Disease is known as the chronic state, which will now include heart problems, signs of brain malfunction, and damage in their kidneys. This kidney damage could eventually lead to Lyme nephritis, usually at this point, there is nothing that can be done to help your pet and eventual death is imminent.

Lyme nephritis can be detected by seeing your Lhasa Apso becoming anorexic, muscles degenerating, sickness , tiredness and one of the easiest signs that you will notice is that their breath will have a bad odour.

Again vaccination is the only sure way to protect your pet dog against Lyme disease, if you have any doubts, obtain veterinary advice immediately.

How do Dogs Catch Lyme Disease?

As we have read in the paragraph above Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks that jump on to their passing hosts. Whilst out walking your Lhasa Apso in the garden or park, ticks living in the grass are just waiting for your pet to walk past. They jump onto your dog and get down through the hair to the skin surface where they sink their jaws into the skin of your pet. Transmitting the Lyme disease they are carrying.

Can Lyme Disease be Treated?

Yes, Lyme disease can be successfully treated by an antibiotic called Doxycycline. The favorite choice of most veterinarians. Other antibiotics are also available. Once your pet has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and the treatment of antibiotics has started you must continue until the end of the treatment. Vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease is strongly advised before it gets to this condition.


Parvovirus in our canine friends is a viral infection. Parvovirus is easily spread from one dog to another. The more common form of Parvovirus attacks the intestines of our Lhasa Apsos, the second form is a virus that will attack the heart. Death can occur in young puppies that have parvovirus. Although radically reduced by conscientious owners vaccinating their puppies early in life, Parvovirus still attacks puppies.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Parvovirus?

Just as with many of the other diseases are dogs can catch signs to look out for to see if your dog has caught parvovirus are, laziness, being sick, weight loss to the point of anorexia, and diarrhoea that contains blood.

Other signs include eyes and mouth that become red, the heartbeat may also be high even though they have done no exercise, they could also be cold to your touch as their body temperature drops.

How do our Dogs get Parvovirus?

The most common way that Parvovirus is transmitted is when your dog has been in contact with a dog that is infected or again when they eat some feces, in which the virus is contained. As dogs like to smell other dogs’ bottoms they increase the chances of getting the Parvovirus. Likewise, if we have inadvertently walked in some infected dog stool whilst walking we could bring Parvovirus back home on our shoes.

Is Parvovirus Treatable?

This disease needs to be controlled in a Hospital as a real cure has not been found as of yet. In a hospital environment, the veterinarian will be focused on the symptoms and attempting to cure them, preventing any bacterial attacks. Whilst in this environment intravenous drips with the correct nourishment and fluids will be administered.  Although 70% of infected dogs treated in hospitals survive, there are cases that result in death. Caused by secondary bacterial infections in blood with bacterial toxins and dehydration. These other factors are fatal.


Rabies is a virus that attacks the spinal cord and brain of all mammals including us humans. Known around the world, rabies puts fear in the mind of humans, not only for ourselves but fear of our own dogs catching it. There are three places on the Earth where rabies has never been reported this includes Hawaii, Australia, and Antarctica. We can see this virus is everywhere.  Around the world every year 50000 humans die because of rabies, the toll for animals goes into millions. This virus rabies, nearly always ends in fatality for animals. If humans can get an anti-rabies vaccination in time and are kept in hospital they can survive, but go through excruciating pain.

What are the Signs if your Dog has Rabies?

There are two types of rabies, furious and paralytic, after contracting rabies your dog will progress into one of these two stages, sometimes they can be affected by both types. The furious type of rabies, as the name indicates, will manifest in differences in their behavioral comportment. This includes behavior changes that incite your otherwise calm dog to attack and become over-aggressive.

The second type of rabies is the paralytic type, often called dumb rabies. You do not need much explanation about the second type, your dog will become confused, weak and will slowly become paralyzed. Eventually leading to their death.

How does a dog get rabies?

Rabies is transmitted by dogs biting each other. If your dog has been in a fight and its skin has been pierced then you should immediately take them long to your veterinarian who will probably no doubt give your dog a rabies booster.

Can Rabies be Treated?

Assuming you are a responsible pet owner you have already vaccinated your dog against rabies. It is actually the law in the United States that all dogs must be vaccinated against rabies every year, once every three years depending on which state you are in. A quarantine period of six months can be imposed on an animal that has come into contact or has been bitten by another animal with rabies. Even a vaccinated animal that has scratched or has bitten a human will be put into quarantine or may even be put to sleep and then a postmortem will be undertaken.  You can see rabies is taken very seriously and any responsible owner will vaccinate their pet against this terrible virus that even attacks humans. Finally, if you think your own Lhasa Apso is infected by rabies, do not come into contact with its saliva, it could be fatal for you.


You have learned reading this post, just to the end, the importance of vaccinating your puppy at a very early age. You have also now gathered enough knowledge of the various diseases with the results of not vaccinating. Take vaccinating your Lhasa Apso seriously, you will enjoy many years together as a responsible owner.













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