Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
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The 2020 Healthy Pets, Healthy Families Initiative

Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs)




Vaccination is a basic part of veterinary care recommended for all dogs and cats. Vaccinating pets decreases the severity of an infection and can protect them from certain diseases, some of which can even be transmitted to people (See Zoonotic Disease page). Pets that become ill can create a significant financial and emotional toll on a family which often could have been prevented through proper vaccination.


There are several diseases that pets should be vaccinated against, Veterinary Public Health (VPH) is tracking some of the most important ones: rabies, canine parvovirus (parvo), leptospirosis (lepto), distemper and panleukopenia.


Facts about VPDs in Los Angeles County (LAC):


  • Parvo is one of the most important VPDs in dogs:

    • This disease causes vomiting, dehydration & bloody diarrhea and can be deadly, especially in puppies

    • It can survive a long time in the environment, which means that unvaccinated dogs can become sick with the disease long after an infected dog is gone

    • Puppies should get the full course of vaccines to be fully protected - usually 3-4 shots until adulthood (check with your veterinarian for proper vaccine schedule)

  • The thorough vaccination of pets against rabies (initially 2 vaccines a year apart and booster every 3 years) is one of the most important reason why we do not currently have rabies in local dogs and cats of LAC (the disease still exists in bats)

  • If a wild animal bites a pet that is not vaccinated against rabies, this pet must be under quarantine for 6 months - If the pet bitten is current on its rabies vaccine, the time of quarantine decreases to 30 days

What can people do to decrease VPDs in LAC:

  • If your pet is not vaccinated, it should kept away from other animals, or areas visited frequently by other animals, such as dog parks

  • Consult your veterinarian to find out which vaccines your dog or cat needs and how often they need to be re-vaccinated


What VPH and our partners do to decrease VPDs in LAC:


VPH monitors VPD's in LAC in order identify areas in our county where pets are not being vaccinated. This allows VPH and our HPHF partners to focus outreach efforts as pets in these areas are most likely not receiving other preventive care like deworming or flea/tick medication. This is why reporting diseases like parvo to our office is a vote for your community so that we can improve both human and pet health in your neighborhood. 

More useful information about vaccine-preventable diseases and pets:

Information about local low-cost vaccination clinics

2011 Canine Vaccinations Guidelines (American Animal Hospital Association [AAHA])


2013 Feline Vaccinations Guidelines (American Association of Feline Practitioners [AAFP])


YouTube video - Vaccines: Protecting your Pets (American Veterinary Medical Association - AVMA)


YouTube video - Preventive care for pets (AVMA)

Last updated: 10/28/2013

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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