Background to vaccination types
The mandatory vaccinations are commonly called a C3 which covers parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis, and Kennel Cough which covers Bordetella (BB) and Parainfluenza (Pi2). A C5 vaccination is effectively a C3 plus Kennel Cough (i.e. covers all five components).
A Kennel Cough (KC) vaccination can be administered via injection, intranasal (nose) or orally (mouth). Research shows that the intranasal and oral vaccine can be more effective with a single dose compared to the injectable vaccine, which requires two doses approximately a month apart. It is for this reason GAP requires the BB component to be intranasal or oral (more information below). Some veterinarians use a C4 which is a C3 plus Pi2, with the BB component being given orally.
NOTE: There are other vaccinations that your veterinarian may recommend when deemed appropriate, such as coronavirus and leptospirosis, but as they are not mandatory, they are not discussed here.
GAR25 in the National Rules (effective 1 May 2022) and the Victorian Government’s Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds (the Code) (effective 1 January 2020) require that all greyhounds must have a current C5 vaccination.
To maintain a current C5 vaccination, greyhounds require at a minimum:
- C3 at 6-8 weeks and C5 at 10-16 weeks (litter registration)
- C5 vaccination at 12-16 months of age
- KC vaccination every year
- C3 vaccination every third year
The C3 component of the C5 given at 12-16 months remains effective for a period of three years. Therefore, by providing your greyhound with the yearly KC vaccination (GRV recommends intranasal), which includes protection against BB and Pi2, you are ensuring that your greyhound meets the minimum requirement of a current C5 vaccination status on an ongoing basis.
Based on the above, the following schedule offers the most effective and cost-effective vaccination program that complies with both the racing rules and the Code:
|Lifecycle stage||Minimum requirement||Comment|
|6-8 weeks of age||C3|
|10-16 weeks of age||C5||Preferably C3 + intranasal KC|
|12-16 months of age||C5||Preferably C3 + intranasal KC|
|2 years of age||KC only||Preferably intranasal|
|3 years of age||KC only||Preferably intranasal|
|4 years of age||C5||Preferably C3 + intranasal KC|
|5 years of age onwards||KC every year plus C3 every 3 years||Preferably KC is intranasal|
Naming and breeding registration (Pink Card or sire)
When applying for a name or breeding registration, a greyhound must have a current C5 vaccination recorded in FastTrack. All minimum annual vaccinations from 12 – 16 months of age, as per the table above, supports both the Naming and Breeding Registration vaccination requirements.
GAP pre-entry requirements
GAP has slightly stricter requirements to minimise the chances of a serious Kennel Cough outbreak within its facility:
- The C3 vaccination must be within the last 2½ years; and
- The KC vaccination must be within the last 6 months; and
- The BB component must be oral or intranasal (injectable BB vaccines are not sufficient for GAP pre-entry).
The simplest way of achieving this is a C3 vaccine plus an intranasal Kennel Cough vaccine, although some veterinarians use a C4 vaccine plus an oral BB vaccine.
GAR25 allows a Controlling Body to refuse nominations for greyhounds that do not have a current C5 vaccination. This approach is fully supported, with it now standard practice in all other jurisdictions. For Victoria, once the required system changes are completed, GRV will also make it standard practice.
Timing of vaccinations will need to be planned, as GAR25 also prohibits racing in the 5 days after a vaccination.
While GRV has specific documentation requirements for litter registration vaccinations (at 6-8 weeks and 10-16 weeks of age), for vaccinations for adult greyhounds (12 months of age or older) your veterinarian will need to supply a vaccination certificate.
The vaccination certificate must clearly identify your greyhound (ideally microchip and ear brand), be signed by the veterinarian and include the vaccination date and vaccination type (preferably with the vaccine stickers attached and clearly readable).
When sending the certificate please ensure the photo or scan is as clear and high-resolution as possible so all details can be read easily.
Recording adult vaccinations
Participants must submit a vaccination certificate to GRV for the vaccination to be entered into the greyhound’s Health tab in FastTrack. This is to ensure that interstate systems can recognise it and allow you to race interstate. It is preferred that certificates are submitted by email to [email protected] .
Vaccinations entered this way automatically update the Greyhound Record in FastTrack, so you won’t need to update this yourself.