Veterinary Public Health

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Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Healthy Pets Healthy Families - Vaccine-preventable diseases

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Just like in people, vaccines are a basic part of preventive care 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. 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, the Veterinary Public Health Program (VPH) is tracking some of the most important ones: rabies, canine parvovirus (parvo), leptospirosis (lepto), and distemper.

Facts about vaccine-preventable diseases in LA County


  • Parvo is one of the most important vaccine=preventable diseases in dogs:

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

    • The virus survives a long time in the environment - unvaccinated dogs can become sick with parvo 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)


  • Rabies is a deadly disease that can also infect people

    • Vaccination of pets against rabies (initially 2 vaccines a year apart and booster every 3 years) is one of the most important reasons behind the eradication of local dog rabies (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 reduce vaccine-preventable diseases in pets of LA County


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

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

What the HPHF coalition does promote vaccinations of pets in LA County


The HPHF coalition wants to ensure that every pet owner has access to spay or neuter services, especially in areas where stray animals are most often seen.


Pet expos and services. Working with local partners, HPHF organizes or participates in events where community members are able to access low-cost and free pet preventive services such as spay/neuter, vaccinations and more. Attendees also get connected to local resources for continued care for their pets.


More useful information about vaccine-preventable diseases



Last updated: July 18, 2024

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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