If your dog regularly visits high-traffic areas and social settings such as the dog park or a boarding facility then you should have them vaccinated against serious illnesses such as Bordetella. Our Orange vets talk about Bordetella in dogs and the importance of having your dog vaccinated.
What Exactly is Bordetella in Dogs?
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is linked to canine respiratory disease. It is part of the canine infectious respiratory complex, which is also known as kennel cough, upper respiratory infection, or infectious tracheobronchitis.
You've heard of kennel cough but what is kennel cough in dogs? Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough in dogs. Kennel cough in dogs is a respiratory condition transmitted in highly populated areas.
How Do Dogs Get Bordetella?
This condition is known to make its way around social areas such as dog parks, boarding facilities, doggy daycares and grooming centers.
The main way dogs catch Bordetella is by inhaling bacterial particles. When these particles make their way to the respiratory tract, the dog can experience an inflamed windpipe or voice box.
There are certain factors that can increase your dog's risk of contracting this disease. These include the following:
- Staying in a poorly ventilated living space (such as certain kennels)
- Colder temperatures
- Exposure to dust or smoke
- Stress (often brought on by travel issues)
Bordetella in Dogs: Symptoms
One of the telltale signs of a Bordetella infection in dogs is that they have developed a consistent cough which can resemble the 'honking' of a goose. You may hear your vet call this a reverse sneeze.
Some of the other commonly seen symptoms with the Bordetella virus include:
- Eye discharge
- Less of an appetite
- A consistently runny nose
Treatments for Dogs With Bordetella
Luckily, Bordetella in dogs is one of the few conditions that will in fact eventually clear up on its own. If you do take your dog to the vet, they may prescribe antibiotics to help him recover faster. Always take the full dose of any medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
Vaccines are also available to prevent infections. Your vet can administer vaccines against these diseases either by injection or via nose drops.
Bordetella Vaccine for Dogs
You can help protect your dog from the Bordetella illness by having them vaccinated yearly. You may have heard it called the “kennel cough vaccine.”. If you would like to know how long the Bordetella vaccine in dogs is good for, the intranasal version of the vaccine is typically administered annually, although boarding facilities or hospitals may recommend it every six months.
If your dog visits dog parks, boarding facilities, dog daycare, training classes, or dog shows, he or she is at risk of contracting Bordetella. Many of these facilities require dogs to have proof of Bordetella vaccination, so getting the vaccine is in your dog's best interest for his health and extracurricular activities.
While vaccinations have undergone thorough testing to ensure efficacy and low risk of complications, there is still a chance that your dog may experience a reaction to this vaccine. Your veterinarian may advise against getting the Bordetella vaccine if your dog is immunocompromised, sick, or pregnant, to avoid Bordetella vaccine side effects in dogs. Even if your dog previously had a reaction to a different vaccine your vet will sit down with you to discuss the risks of the vaccine and help you determine if it is okay to have your dog vaccinated.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.