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In the past, adult dogs have had a C5 vaccination yearly; this is because the immunity to the diseases we vaccinate against had not reliably lasted for longer than that period. C5 can be thought of as comprising a core C3 (Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus) and Canine Cough.

With research being conducted into the immune systems of our pets and the risks and benefits of vaccination, new vaccines are becoming available. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommend the use of a three year schedule (2010). Rochedale Vet implemented this immediately and introduced the triennial or ‘3 year’ vaccines in 2010.

It is important to know that this new protocol ONLY applies to dogs, while the vaccination recommendations for cats remain unchanged and are still yearly.

What does this mean for my new puppy?

Puppies still require a series of three vaccinations to develop protection against several life threatening diseases. At the first annual booster vaccination (which is at 12 to 15 months of age), the C3 component of the vaccine will last for 3 years. The Canine Cough component still only lasts one year, so your dog still needs to come in once a year. The vaccination they receive will vary each year (1st year C5, the following two years just Canine Cough, then C5 again). You don’t need to try to remember which one is due, our vets will know from your dog’s records.

Does this mean that my adult pet only needs a vaccination every 3 years?

No. Vaccinations against Distemper, Adenovirus, and Parvovirus will last longer and so are given every 3 years, but protection against important and very common diseases such as Canine Cough must be maintained on a yearly basis.

Why not keep vaccinating every year with a C5?


You can and a lot of vets still use a C5 yearly. At Rochedale Vet we believe that challenging your pet’s immune system with five different vaccine components year after year puts unnecessary stress on the immune system and so we use a three year vaccine for three out of the five common conditions.

Does this 3 year vaccine cost more? 

Over a 3 year period it does not cost more. The first C5 vaccine which includes the new 3 yearly C3 does cost more, but this is evened out by the second two years with only the canine cough component which costs significantly less.

How often then does my pet need to see their vet?

Annual health checks allow the early detection of many conditions, and also give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns or problems you may have about your pet. Due to our pets’ shorter lifespans, this is like you going to your doctor and dentist every 7 years!  Often senior pets and any animals with known health issues need to see a vet much more frequently. Our very experienced vets will discuss with you recommendations for revisits and checkups as part of an individualised treatment or health management plan.

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