Vaccine Information : A Brief Introduction

When it comes to vaccinations for my Weimaraners, choice is certainly not lacking. It isn't surprising that breeders get confused. Generally breeders rely on the advice and knowledge their veterinarian will provide and make a choice based on this information. Or breeders may do research for themselves and base their choice on the information attained. Never the less, vaccinations still are and will continue to be discussed with a passion while problems which once seemed to occur, now do.

There are many experiences shared with breeders of the adverse reactions to vaccinations one such experience takes us back to February 2003 that happened to Dot Sweeney of the Cimarron Black Russian Terriers who reported, via, a problem with her litter of Black Russian Terriers. The whole litter had an adverse reaction after receiving the Protech Duramune C4. A new modified vaccine manufactured by FORT DODGE AUSTRALIA. This is not to say the vaccine was responsible, except to say it was a very well timed coincidence.

My personal choice of vaccines was those made by CSL and up until CSL announced the sale of its Animal Health Division to Pfizer Tuesday 16th December 2003, my veterinarian used CSL vaccines as the choice for her clinic. Back in those good old days there were two types available from CSL:

    • Canvac™ 3 in 1
    • Canvac™ 4 in 1 plus BB [C5]

[Vaccine types and combinations are changing and evolving, for up to date vaccine types speak to your professional.]

A suggested puppy vaccination program recommended by CSL is as follows:

  • 6 - 8 weeks - Canvac™ 3 in 1
  • 12 - 14 weeks - Canvac™ 4 in 1 plus BB [C5]
  • 16 - 18 weeks - Canvac™ 4 in 1 plus BB [C5]
  • Annual booster - Canvac™ 4 in 1 plus BB [C5]

But let us first understand a little bit more about how a puppy will get immunity. After birth, the puppy will receive maternal antibodies from the immune mother through the colostrum. This will give protection to the puppy against various diseases until the puppy gets a boost from a vaccination. When choosing a vaccination protocol it is important that it allows for the colostrum deprived puppies and also for those in the litter which have received an abundant amount.

The puppy should receive a modified-live parvovirus vaccine rather that an inactive [killed] parvovirus vaccine.

Why, you may ask?

Generally speaking, modified-live parvovirus vaccines are better able to overcome low levels of maternal antibody then killed vaccines¹. A very small number of 16 - 18 week old puppies may have a low level of maternal antibody which is capable of interfering with killed parvovirus vaccines. Additionally the level and duration of immunity following a single dose of modified-live parvovirus vaccine is greater than that following a single dose of killed vaccine² ³.






A viral disease which can affect any dog, especially puppies

Earliest signs are high temperature for up to which goes, and then returns in about a week. Fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, diarrhoea, vomiting and may be followed by pneumonia. As the disease progresses, dogs may show muscle spasms, convulsions and progressive paralysis and may have permanent brain damage.

See above


Highly infectious. Can cause mild to severe disease especially in dogs under two years of age. The virus is passed in the urine of the infected dog and can infect others for up to six months after the carrier dog recovers.

Loss of appetite, depression, diarrhoea often with blood, tonsillitis and acute abdominal pain due to an enlarged liver. When mild, the dog may only show lethargy and loss of appetite. If severe, death may occur within 24-36 hours. Corneal opacity ("blue eye") may follow infection.

See above


This is a highly contagious and very hardy virus which attacks the gastrointestinal tract. Usually passed on to other dogs when they contact the faeces of an infected dog. It survives very well outside the dog. Special disinfectant is required.

Diarrhoea, often with plenty of blood, uncontrollable vomiting, severe abdominal pain. Mortality rate can vary from 10% - 90% of affected dogs.

See above

Canine Cough

Sometimes called by a very misleading name of kennel Cough. Dogs can become infected anywhere that they gather such as at parks, obedience classes, dog shows or boarding kennels. Causes include a bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica and a virus, canine parainfluenza virus.

A harsh hacking cough that often finishes with gagging and may persist for several weeks. Sneezing and tonsillitis.

See above


Rare disease in dogs. Caused when penetrating wounds become infected with the tetanus organism. Toxin is produced in the wound and spreads to affect nerves.

Muscle stiffness, tremors and "lock jaw".

Consult your veterinarian


A little about CSL.

CSL is in the business of health and operates on a global scale through four individual businesses:

  • Human Health
  • Animal Health
  • ZLB Plasma Services
  • JRH Biosciences

This well respected company is a major supplier of vaccines in Australia for dogs and cats. And is the market leader in vaccines for sheep, cattle, pigs and horses.[Please Note: CSL is no longer involved in the making of animal vaccines.]

Australian contact details for CSL:

Registered Head Office
CSL Limited
45 Poplar Road
Victoria 3052
Telephone: + 61 3 9389 1911
Facsimile: + 61 3 9389 1434

A little about Fort Dodge Australia.

This one person operation was founded in 1912 and acquired by American Home Products in 1945, now Wyeth, is leading the manufacturing market in prescription animal over the counter health products. Fort Dodge Animal Health services the US and international market, distributing their products to over 100 countries. It is the number one veterinary biological (vaccine) manufacturer in the world.

Australian contact details for Fort Dodge:

Rob Barclay - Managing Director
Norwest Business Park
Level 3, 1 Maitland Place
Baulkham Hills
NSW 2153

Phone: +61 2 9899 0444
Fax: +61 2 9899 2151


¹ Pollack RVH and Coyne MJ (1993). Canine Parvovirus. Veterinary Clinic North America: Small Animal Practice, Vol 23 No 3: 555-568.
² CSL Limited. Data on file.
³ Greene CE. Proceedings 58th Annual Conference: American Animal Hospital Association, 550-551.


Disclaimer: Information contained here is obtained from various sources and does not replace the advice from a qualified professional. If the health of your dog/s is ever in question, you should consult your veterinarian first and foremost. No liability is accepted by Britfeld Weimaraners, owners of Britfeld Weimaraners, their families and/or their associates for any information contained here which may result in adverse outcome/s for your dog/s.