A: Adenovirus-2 is one cause of infectious tracheobronchitis, often called “kennel cough.” Adenovirus-1 is the cause of infectious canine hepatitis, a frequently fatal disease that is characterized by extreme illness and liver failure. The adenovirus-2 vaccine also cross protects against adenovirus-1.
Adenoviruses can be spread by nasal secretions, saliva, blood, urine, or feces of infected dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes, bears, and possibly raccoons. Exposure to any of these animals, feces, or bodily fluids would constitute a risk.
The adenovirus-2 vaccine is considered a core vaccine by the American Animal Hospital Association’s vaccine taskforce. Core vaccines are ones that are recommended for all dogs by the immunologists, epidemiologists, and other experts who make up the panel. I trust this panel of experts over any single veterinarian’s opinion.
Generally adenovirus-2 vaccine will be combined in a single injection with canine distemper virus and parvovirus. The adenovirus-2 vaccine is significantly safer than the older adenovirus-1 vaccine that can sometimes be found in catalogs and farm supply stores.