We vaccinate our dogs to protect them from three potentially fatal diseases: DISTEMPER, HEPATITIS and CANINE PARVOVIRUS.  The vaccine known as C3 covers all three diseases.  We also vaccinate our dogs to cover KENNEL COUGH.  The vaccine known as C5 covers all of the above.  Please read on to learn a little more about the diseases we vaccinate against.  For more in-depth information on any of these diseases please follow the links under the topics. 


Distemper is a virus which appears to be very similar to measles in humans.  It can affect a wide range of organs including the skin, brain, eyes, intestinal and respiratory tracts.  The virus can be transmitted either through the air or body secretions (urine etc). 

Dogs of any age can be affected although puppies that are less than six months of age are most susceptible. 

The most common signs are nasal and eye discharge, coughing, diarrhoea, vomiting and seizures.  Mildly affected dogs may only have a cough.  Severely affected dogs may develop pneumonia.  Nose and footpads of younger dogs may thicken. 

There is no specific treatment.  The vet can only aid in the comfort of the dog.  Dogs can recover from this disease.  It is not always fatal.

Canine Distemper Virus 




Hepatitis is a disease caused by a virus.  It affects the liver and other body organs.  the virus is spread by body fluids, nasal discharge and urine.  Recovered patients can carry the virus in their body fluids for up to nine months.  Contaminated rugs, cages, dishes etc, can all transmit the disease easily.  

It affects mostly dogs under one year old. 

The dog will have a sore throat and will cough.  Occasionally it will get pneumonia.  As the virus enters the bloodstream it can affect the eyes, liver and kidneys.  If the eyes are affected the cornea will appear a cloudish blue colour.  As the kidneys become infected, the dog may start to have seizures, increased thirst, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. 

There is no specific treatment.  The vet can only aid in the comfort of the dog.  Dogs can recover from this disease. 



Parvovirus is highly contagious and is made up of many different strains of the virus.  The virus is so deadly that there have been recorded cases of vaccinated dogs still catching the disease and subsequently dying.  Parvo is on of the most easily transmitted viruses.  It can lay dormant in the ground, on clothes, food dishes, blanketing, bedding etc for up to five months sometimes even longer. Insects and rodents (rats, mice) can also spread the virus.  Dog faeces and other body secretions can transmit the virus. 

It does not discriminate and affects any dog regardless of age, condition etc.  although, the most severe cases seem to be in puppies younger than 12 weeks.  Most ultimately die as a result of the virus.  Some breeds are also more susceptible to one particular strain.  Those being:  Rottweilers, Dobermans and Labradors. 

Some adult dogs will show no symptoms early on.  Symptoms are:  severe vomiting, diarrhoea (traces of blood), dehydration, fever and low white blood cell counts.  The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after the dog has caught the virus. 

Treatment of the virus is usually centred on support therapy for the dog.  Replacing fluids that are lost through vomiting and diarrhoea using electrolyte solutions.  Antibiotics are given to help with bacterial infections.  Treatment is very time consuming and costly and chances of recovery are quite small. 



Kennel Cough 

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory problem and is highly contagious and more commonly found in kennel situations.  This does not mean that your pet is immune to it..  It has recently been discovered that it can be passed onto humans.  It is transmitted easily through body fluids, contaminated bowls, clothing, bedding etc.  All dogs are susceptible. 

A dry hacking cough with retching sometimes following.  The dog can also have a runny nose.  More severe symptoms include, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, pneumonia and in the worst case death. 

If the dose is a mild one, a vet will often let the disease run its course, much like a human with a cold.  In more severe cases the dog will receive an antibiotic treatment.