Dog Vaccination

Regular vaccination is an important part of routine healthcare to protect against infectious diseases. It is therefore recommended that all dogs and puppies are routinely immunized. (See also page on non-infectious, heartworm vaccination).

Puppy Vaccination
As newborns, puppies are temporarily protected against many diseases by antibodies from their mother’s milk. These antibody levels decline in the first couple of months of life, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations are necessary for a puppy. The following two regimes are typical, both resulting in the same level of immunity. The variation exits due to personal choice in initial vaccine given at 6-8 weeks.

  • Age at 1st vaccination: 6-8 weeks, C4 (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and 1 x strain kennel cough)
  • Age at 2nd vaccination12 weeks, C5 (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and 2 x strains kennel cough)


  • Age at 1st vaccination: 6-8 weeks, C3 (distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus)
  • Age at 2nd vaccination: 12 weeks, C5 (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and 2 x strains kennel cough)
  • Age at 3rd vaccination: 16 weeks, Kc( 2 x strains kennel cough)

Adult Dog Vaccination
Annual health checks and booster vaccinations are recommended for all adult dogs to protect them from infectious diseases. If an unvaccinated adult dog joins your family, simply have two vaccinations three weeks apart and then one annual booster each year thereafter.

After Vaccination Care
Occasionally after vaccination your puppy/dog may be a little off-colour for 24-48 hours or have slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water, plus a little extra TLC are all that is usually required for a speedy recovery. However, if a reaction appears more serious, please call for advice.

Infectious Diseases Overview

Canine Parvovirus
Affects dogs of all ages, but is most serious in young puppies and older dogs. Symptoms include bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs can die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.

Canine Distemper
A highly contagious viral disease affecting dogs of any age with young puppies being at greatest risk.

Symptoms can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Even with treatment the recovery rate is very low and dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis
Extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.

Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. 

Canine Cough (kennel cough)
Highly infectious disease which readily spreads wherever dogs congregate e.g. parks, puppy schools and boarding kennels. Symptoms include a dry, hacking cough which can last for several weeks and is distressing for the dog.