Vaccine associated immunity is long lasting , but not permanent (2).
Inoculation is useful within 4 days of exposure to the virus (2).
Typically the CDV vaccine is combined with other vaccines including:
Canine Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus 2, Leptospirosis, and
virus (4). 3 types of CDV vaccines are available.        

                    17. Distemper Vaccine                                                                                                                                   18. Distemper Vaccine              

CDV Vaccination Guidelines (5):


Age of Dog

Manufacturers' Booster Recommendation


< 16 Weeks of Age

>16 Weeks of Age

Canine Distemper Virus


3 doses:

6-7 wks,

3 months,

     4 months

1 dose



Highly Recommended

rCanine Distemper Virus (rCDV)

 3 doses:

6-7 wks,

3 months,

     4 months

2 doses:

3-4 wks apart


Highly Recommended: May take longer to protect immunologically naïve dogs.

Distemper Measles

One dose:

    6-12 wks

(MLV or rCDV  follows at 14-16 wks of age)

Not for female dogs >12 weeks of age.

Not Recommended

Not Recommended for routine use. Do not administer to any dog over 16 weeks of age.

Administer IM only

Modified Live Vaccines:
Modified live virus (MLV) vaccines are considered to be the most effective means of protection (5). They are designed to induce an immune response but not illness (4). MLV vaccines for CDV are prepared as either: canine tissue culture-adapted vaccines (Rockborn strain) or the Chick embryo adapted-vaccines (e.g., Onderstepoort and Lederle strains). The Rockborn strain is considered to be nearly 100% effective, but is considered a risk in dogs with weakened immune systems (1,2,6). Only healthy animals should be vaccinated to prevent vaccine-induced distemper. Protection for 7 years has been demonstrated experimentally (5). The Onderstepoort preparation is considered to be safer than the Rockborn strain, however efficacy is listed at 80% (2,6). Protection for 5 years has been demonstrated experimentally (5).
Side effects of MLV vaccines occur rarely 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination (2). Vaccine induced distemper is characterized by encephalitis, behavioural changes, and blindness. The mortality is rate is high (2,6). Any modified live CDV vaccine may be fatal for wildlife and zoo animals, these species require an inactivated virus vaccine, which is no longer available commercially as its efficacy is considered to be inferior (6).

big vaccine
Recombinant Vaccines:
Recombinant Vaccines (rCDV) are prepared using a harmless
virus (Canary Pox) which has been tagged with a CDV
protein capable of generating an immune response.  Safety
is assured, as it is impossible for this vaccine to cause distemper
(4,6). The efficacy and duration of protection is considered
inferior to the MLV vaccine.

The Human Measles Virus :
This virus has been historically used to vaccinate against CDV. It is
considered the best choice to circumvent maternal antibody interference
(6). Subsequent immunity is relatively shortlived compared to protection
offered by modified live or recombinant vaccines (4,6). Infection
conferred by this vaccine prevents disease but not infection (6).

19. Vanguard Distemper Vaccine

The uncommon failure of CDV vaccine has been attributed to several factors. Maternal antibodies derived in utero and via colostrum, have been shown to neutralize the vaccine in half of the puppies vaccinated at 6 weeks of age (3). For this reason, 3 administrations of the CDV vaccine are recommended as this phenomenon is significantly diminished by 12 weeks of age (3). The concurrent use of antibiotics suchs as tetracyclines and chloramphenicol is not recommended (3). It should be noted that excessive environmental exposure to CDV may result in disease in animals considered to be protected under normal circumstances (3).

Although sometimes used, homeopathic prevention of CDV using nosodes
has not been adequately substantiated. A nosode is defined as a
preparation made from diseased or pathological products (7). These
include fecal, urinary, and respiratory discharges, tissues, and blood products.
The use of these products has recently resulted in a high number of deaths
of puppies in several kennels. (6).

Strategies at Home:

Any suspected cases should be isolated immediately (2,6).  All other dogs
 in the home should be prophylactically vaccinated, if their vaccines are not up to date.
CDV is susceptible to: heat, sunlight, and most detergents. Contaminated
surfaces and living areas of the home should be disinfected with a bleach
and water solution (1:30) (2). If a new puppy is desired it is recommend
 to wait at least one month to allow the virus to be cleared from the home (2).

 20. Cagged Puppy