In dogs, the primary diseases that are routinely vaccinated against are:
Parvovirus: causes potentially fatal diarrhoea, especially in pups and dogs under 2 years.
Distemper: causes coughing, diarrhoea and sometimes twitching, seizures, loss of balance, blindness
Hepatitis: causes vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and possibly even liver failure.
The vaccination against these three diseases is called a C3.
Further protection against the components of Canine Cough is also available:
Parainfluenza: the viral component of Canine Cough (C3 and parainfluenza is a C4)
Bordatella bronchiseptica: bacterial component of the cough (C4 and B. bronchiseptica is C5)
A C5 vaccination is the minimum requirement for most boarding kennels and is recommended for dogs mixing frequently with large numbers of dogs (eg Obedience training).
In cats, the primary diseases that are routinely vaccinated against are:
Enteritis: Feline Panleukopaenia: can cause severe disease in unvaccinated kittens between 3 and 5 months of age.
Causes fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, liver failure and even sudden death.
Feline Calici Virus: part of the cat flu complex. Causes sneezing, conjunctivitis, and ulcers on the gums and tongue.
Feline Rhinotracheitis: part of the cat flu complex. Causes sneezing, depression, conjunctivitis, inappetence, and in the worst cases can lead to permanent nasal
and sinus infection.
The vaccine against these 3 diseases is called and F3 vaccination.
Vaccination against another component of the cat flu complex is also available:
Chlamydia: a bacterial disease causing conjunctivitis, respiratory disease, infectious arthritis and even abortion in pregnant queens. (F3 plus Chlamydia is an F4)
Do vaccinations guarantee that my pet will not sick?
Vaccinations cannot stop an animal from becoming infected by a virus, but they do reduce the chance and severity of infections and make recovery quicker. This is the reason that dogs may still pick up Canine Cough, even when vaccinated with a C5, or why cats can get the flu even when fully vaccinated. The benefits are that they are generally less unwell than an unvaccinated animal, and more resistant to the development of disease.