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Dog Vaccinations


At Tweed Coast Vet, Cabarita, we have tried to keep things simple for you. We keep up-to-date with the latest research and guidelines released by the Australian Veterinary Association, so that you don’t have to. This page explains about preventable diseases in DOGS.  For information on cats, please check out the CAT VACCINATION page. We have also provided a recommended Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Protocol with our usual recommendations. Please note these may change according to your personal circumstance.


In-line with the current Australian Veterinary Association guidelines we offer an annual KC vaccination and a triennial C3 vaccination, which combined form the same as the old C5 vaccinations. This is the minimum requirement for entering boarding kennels. This vaccination combination will cover parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and bordatella. Our area is particularly prone to kennel cough


Parvovirus is a disease you hear about in the media a lot. It is frequently fatal, and when it is not fatal it is painful, long and drawn out. It is a virus that attacks rapidly growing cells in the dog’s body – including the bone marrow, and the lining of the stomach and intestines -which causes bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. This results in a very sick, weak, anaemic animal with no immune system left to try and battle the virus. Because it is a virus, it does not respond very well to antibiotics, and for the most part all vets can do is provide supportive care until the patient starts to respond themselves.

The vaccination is very good – once you have a fully vaccinated dog the vaccination can be given every 3 years, but it does take several treatments to be fully effective in young puppies. (See our Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Schedule Page for more info). The disease is usually found in areas where there is a low level of vaccination in the community. Fortunately on the Tweed Coast we have a reasonable rate of vaccination, but we still see parvo frequently enough that we strongly recommend vaccination in all puppies and adult dogs.

Adenovirus (hepatitis) is an inflammation of the liver, which can be fatal We frequently see hepatitis in dogs, but the number of these cases that is caused by adenovirus is unknown. It is a disease that can cause sudden death in young animals, and cause permanent scarring and damage to the liver in older animals, who will then go on to shed the disease in their urine and faeces. Infected animals are often feverish, “sick” painful and vomit.

Distemper virus is extremely rare in our region. It used to be very common – a disease that caused a neurological symptoms such as twitching, paralysis, and seizures, along with eye and nasal discharges. It often was fatal. Fortunately, routine vaccinations have made this disease extremely rare, although it has not quite been eradicated yet.


Bordatella Bronchiseptica and Parainfluenza virus

Although Kennel Cough (caused by bordatella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza) is not a part of the core vaccination, it is the minimum requirement to place your dog in a kennel. The KC vaccination is like the flu vaccination in people – it needs to be given every year to provide protection

In the Tweed Coastal region in particular, we see a lot of kennel cough, even in dogs that don’t leave their yards. As kennel cough is airborne, and can be spread much like the common cold in humans, we assume this is from dogs in close proximity to your fence, or yard, or drinking from your water bowl out the front (if you have one). Kennel cough is rarely fatal. Usually it is merely annoying, keeping both the owner and the pet up all night for weeks on end. It causes a deep, hacking cough, that sometimes results in vomiting a small amount of clear fluid.  It doesn’t respond well to treatment and sometimes can take several weeks to resolve.