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How Much Are Puppy Vaccinations

Important Vaccinations In Dogs

Dogs and Puppies playing

There are three main and dangerous diseases that your puppy should be protected against, regardless of your living area and situation – vaccines for these are known by the Australian Veterinary Association as ‘Core Vaccinations’.

These diseases are; canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (aka canine hepatitis) and canine parvovirus. These are almost always given by vets in a single combination shot known as the C3 Vaccination, and will generally need to be given in three stages to a puppy according to a scheduled detailed below.

Costs of Puppy and Dog Vaccinations in Australia:

According to the RSPCA the costs you should expect to pay for the C3 Vaccination in Australia in 2020 is:

  • Puppy vaccinations: $170 to $250 for all three doses.
  • Dog vaccinations: $90 approx. every 3 years for boosters.

Puppy and Dog Core Vaccinations – Further Information

The three diseases that the C3 Vaccination protects against:

  1. Canine distemper virus (CDV), a virus that attacks your dog’s respiratory system, can lead to damage to the brain and spinal cord and can also cause paralysis or seizures. This disease is highly infectious and cannot be cured.
  2. Canine adenovirus (CAV), sometimes referred to as canine hepatitis, CAV attacks the liver and kidneys which can then lead to appetite loss, bleeding disorders and jaundice. It is possible for dogs to recover from CAV but related problems can persist for a long time.
  3. Canine parvovirus (CPV-2), another highly infections disease that can survive for up to a year in an infected dog’s faeces. This virus targets the immune system, digestive system and bone marrow.

C3 Puppy Vaccination Schedule and Timeline

Your vet will generally aim to give the C3 injections to your puppy in 3 doses – it is important to ensure your puppy doesn’t come into contact with any infections before the final dose, so you should avoid the dog park or public places and other dogs until then - try entertaining your puppy at home with some toys.

  1. Dose 1: 6-8 weeks old.
  2. Dose 2: 10-12 weeks old (this can also be used for C4 or C5 which are non-core vaccinations, outlined below).
  3. Dose 3: 16 weeks old.

This schedule is backed by the World Small Animal Veterinarian Association (WSAVA) who have given several reasons for why it should be followed as closely as possible;

  • There needs to be four weeks between each shot.
  • The third and final vaccination should be after your puppy is 16 weeks old – at this age, your dog’s immune system will respond best to the vaccination.
  • The earlier the C3 Vaccination process can be completed, the sooner you can safely take your puppy out into the world without worry.

Non-core Dog vaccinations

There are three important – non-core vaccinations that you should be aware of. These are required in certain situations such as when you live in a rural area or if you frequently board your dog with others. If your situation or lifestyle could lead to your dog being exposed to these diseases, contact your vet for further information. If they advise any of these for your puppy they will generally be included at the same time as the C3 Vaccinations.

  1. Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb), bacteria which can lead to a non-life-threatening ‘kennel cough’ type disease. This can be easily contracted if your dog lives or stays in close proximity to other dogs.
  2. Leptospira interrogans (LI), also caused by bacteria, but it is spread through the urine of wild animals. Therefore, LI is more common in rural areas with lots of wildlife (such as marsupials and rodents). The infection is generally mild but in extreme cases can lead to meningitis and or death.
  3. Parainfluenza virus (PI), ‘kennel cough’ symptoms similar to Bb, but PI is caused by a highly contagious virus. It is non-life-threatening, but can be quite damaging to puppies or older dogs with weaker immune systems. It attacks the respiratory system and can be spread easily through contact with other dogs such as at kennels or dog shows.

What is the difference between Core (C3), and non-Core (C4 and C5) dog vaccinations?

The C3 is a single medication that contains all three core vaccines. If your vet decides to give your dog or puppy any of the non-core vaccines, they’ll do it at the same time as C3. At that point, the treatment becomes known as a C4 or C5.

Here’s how it breaks down:

C3: A single medication containing all three core vaccines.
C4: The C3 plus a second medication containing the PI vaccine.
C5: The C3 plus a second medication that combines both the PI and Bb vaccines (the two “kennel cough” illnesses).

If your dog needs a C4 or a C5, it will usually take the place of only one of your three rounds of C3.

Vaccinations for older puppies and dogs

As your puppy ages, they will need a C3 booster shot – this is quite similar to the previous C3 shots, and if the schedule is followed expected the first booster to be administered at around 15 months old. To ensure your dog remains protected from the core diseases, they will require a further booster every 3 years for their entire life.

Non-core vaccinations will usually require a booster every year, or as a case by case basis, check with your vet for information.

Tips for vaccinating your puppy and dogs

  • If you’re picking your puppy up from a breeder, it is unlikely to be before they are 6-8 weeks old, so your breeder hopefully took care of the first round of C3 Vaccinations already – ensure you collect the records so you can take these to your vet to complete the cycle.
  • Pet insurance will usually help cover part of the costs for vaccinating your puppy or dog if you have a policy that includes ‘routine care’ or similar. This can also sometimes help with worming, de-sexing and teeth cleaning. Routine care is generally built into most comprehensive pet insurance policies or can be added as an optional extra.

Vaccinating your puppy is a very important step that will avoid some nasty diseases or worse, the RSPCA recommends all dogs should at least receive the core-vaccinations as these can be easily contracted from other dogs.

You should endeavour to keep your puppy at home until the third C3 injection, just in case they come in contact with an infected dog or pick up some disease from the environment. Following the vaccination schedule should have your puppy ready to roam the dog parks and begin socialising as early as 16 weeks old with full protection from the nastiest diseases - giving you peace of mind.



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