Four, 57 days old, African hunting dog puppies (Lycaon pictus) from one litter died within three weeks following vaccination with modified-live canine distemper virus (CDV) and killed canine adenovirus type 1, canine parvovirus and Leptospira icterohemorrhagiae and canicola. 18 days post vaccination, the animals developed neurologic disease characterized by episodes of grand mal seizures and circling. Macroscopic, histological and immunohistochemical studies revealed acute systemic CDV infection with acute encephalopathy. Virus isolation attempts using primary dog kidney cells, lung macrophages and Vero cells were negative. Therefore, the question whether the infection was the result of vaccination or natural infection remains open. The benefits and risks regarding the use of modified-live CDV vaccines and killed canine distemper vaccines in exotic carnivores are briefly discussed.