The following is written after extensive consultation with local vets, and draws upon our years of experience with dealing with hundreds of dogs here in Korea.
Anyone with a dog in Korea should be aware that the viral threats to dogs are unique to this nation, and will be different from what vets in your home country treat for prevention.
These are the active viruses in Korea, that pose a real danger of death or grave illness to dogs:
4- Canine Influenza
5- Kennel Cough
* - Heart-worm
** - intestinal parasites
You MUST have your dogs vaccinated every year against these viruses. However, please note that giving a yearly vaccination DOES NOT guarantee sufficient immunity to be safe in Korea.
Specifically Parvovirus and Distemper are very dangerous. You must understand that the vaccines for these are produced by American or European companies, tailored for the "intensity" of the local virus strength.
There is an antibodies test for determining the level of immunity. The test is graded on a scale of 1 to 6 here in Korea (different scales are used in other countries, but you can easily convert). Most vets in western countries (including Australia) consider 2-3 to be acceptable levels. In fact, older Korean vets tend to also consider 3 to be safe.
But the reality is that 5 is the minimum required by a dog to be able to survive a full exposure to those viruses. Most younger Korean vets know this, and are pushing to maintain these levels.
It is our recommendation that you test your dog for the Parvo and Distemper levels, and if the level is found to be lower than 5 for ether, ask your vet to determine the number of shotes needed to raise to safe levels. Be warned: some older Korean vets will not be comfortable with doing this for many reasons (too complicated to get into), so if your vet does not wish to give boosters, you shouold find another vet.
This is being written on June 6, 2014. At this moment we have been warned by vets in Geoje that there is a serious outbreak of Corona and Parvo, and the medications required to treat them are running dangerously low. the vets recommend to keep unvaccinated dogs away from public areas until they are properly vaccinated.
*- Heart-worm - This is a fatal infestation of the cardiovascular system that must be prevented by regular medication for ALL dogs.
**- Dogs must be given Drontal periodically (frequency according to local expert vets) to prevent intestinal parasites
Please take all of the above seriously. We have seen too many dogs that were vaccinated regularly become infected and die.