Bordetella in Dogs

If your dog needs to be groomed or boarded at a facility while you are away, it must be protected against the highly contagious Bordetella (Kennel Cough) virus. Our Edgewater vets are here to tell you everything you need to know.

What is kennel cough (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.

Kennel cough is most frequently caused by Bordetella, which is a type of bacteria.

How do dogs get Bordetella?

Dogs who visit places where they may come into contact with other dogs, such as doggy daycare, groomers, dog parks, and boarding facilities, are more likely to contract this virus and develop symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.

The inhalation of bacterial particles is the primary mode of transmission of bordetella in dogs. Due to the fact that these particles have made their way to the respiratory tract, the dog may experience an inflammation of the windpipe or the voice box.

The likelihood of a dog contracting diseases caused by the bacterium can vary depending on the circumstances. Some examples of these are as follows:

  • 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)

Symptoms of Bordetella in Dogs

In dogs, a persistent cough is one of the symptoms that can be associated with Bordetella infections. Dog parents have reported that the sound of coughing can be comparable to that of a honking goose. Veterinarians call this phenomenon "reverse sneezing."

Additional signs and symptoms of Bordetella infections in dogs include the following:

  • Eye discharge
  • Less of an appetite
  • A consistently runny nose
  • Fever

Treatments for Dogs With Bordetella

The good news is that many Bordetella cases will resolve on their own without the need for further treatment. 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 an injection or via nose drops.

Bordetella Vaccine for Dogs

The Bordetella vaccine for dogs protects against this specific virus and is widely available to keep your dog safe from kennel cough. You may have heard it called the “kennel cough vaccine.” If you're wondering 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.

Vaccinations are usually very safe, but the benefits of vaccinations must be weighed against any risks. Your veterinarian may advise against getting the Bordetella vaccine if your dog is immunocompromised, sick, or pregnant, to avoid side effects of the bordetella vaccine in dogs. They will discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine for dogs with a previous history of vaccine reactions.

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.

Does your dog need to get its Bordetella vaccination updated? Bring them to the vets at Animal General today to ensure your pooch is protected from this nasty virus.