If your dog visits the groomer or stays at a boarding facility while you're away, a veterinarian may have asked you about keeping your dog safe from Bordetella. In this article, our veterinarians in Chino Hills provide information on this contagious disease.
What Is Bordetella in Dogs?
Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria often lead to respiratory problems in our canine companions. It plays a significant role in conditions such as kennel cough, upper respiratory infections, and infectious tracheobronchitis.
Among these, Bordetella is the primary culprit behind kennel cough in dogs.
How Do Dogs Get Bordetella?
Dogs that interact closely with other dogs in settings like dog parks, boarding facilities, daycare, and groomers are at a higher risk of encountering this infection and showing signs of upper respiratory illness.
The primary means of dogs contracting Bordetella involves inhaling bacterial particles. When these particles reach the respiratory tract, they can lead to inflammation in the windpipe or voice box of the dog.
Several scenarios can heighten a dog's likelihood of contracting illnesses caused by this bacterium. These scenarios include the following:
- Colder temperatures
- Exposure to dust or smoke
- Stress (often brought on by travel issues)
- Staying in a poorly ventilated living space (such as certain kennels)
What is Kennel Cough in Dogs?
Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough, is a respiratory disease found in dogs. Kennel cough is a term used to describe multiple viruses or bacterial infections. Two of the most common causes are canine influenza and Bordetella. While this condition isn't serious for most healthy dogs, it can lead to more serious secondary infections in young puppies, senior dogs, or dogs with a weakened immune system from other conditions.
How Long is the Bordetella Vaccine Good for in Dogs?
Your veterinarian will recommend a Bordetella booster shot every six to twelve months based on your pet's risk of exposure to Bordetella.
What Side Effects does the Bordetella Vaccine Have on Dogs?
Mild adverse reactions are not only possible when vaccinating your pup but should be expected. Reactions are generally mild and short-lived, so while it's worrying to see your dog having these side effects, it's important to know that they are healthier and safer for it.
Understanding what to expect after your dog gets the Bordetella vaccine will make the process less stressful for both you and your pup. Here, we have listed some of the most common side effects dogs can experience from the Bordetella vaccination.
The most common reaction dogs will experience after having the Bordetella vaccine is a feeling of malaise, lethargy, or discomfort, often accompanied by a very mild fever. This reaction develops due to the dog's immune system working to respond to the vaccine appropriately. These symptoms are quite normal and should only last a or two.
- Lumps & Bumps
If your dog receives the injectable form of the Bordetella vaccine, lumps and bumps can arise near the injection site. A small, firm bump can develop, as well as a bit of tenderness and stiffness in the area. Usually, these bumps are only the result of skin irritation, but any time that the skin is punctured, it's possible for them to get an infection. You need to keep an eye on the injection site. Watch for signs of swelling, redness, discharge, and pain. If it goes untreated, infected areas can lead to more serious conditions.
- Sneezing & Cold Like Symptoms
If your dog received their Bordetella vaccine as a nasal spray, it's common and normal for them to develop cold symptoms. Adverse reactions to nasal spray Bordetella vaccination include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Most dogs recover from these symptoms within a day or two.
Symptoms of Bordetella in Dogs
The symptoms of Bordetella infections in dogs primarily show as a persistent cough. Dog parents will often say that the sound of the cough may resemble the honking of a goose. Vets will also sometimes call this 'reverse sneezing.'
Some other symptoms of Bordetella infections in dogs include:
- Eye discharge
- Less of an appetite
- A consistently runny nose
Treatments for Dogs With Bordetella
The good news is that in many cases, Bordetella should resolve itself on its own without any additional treatments. However, if you do bring your dog in to see your vet, they may prescribe them antibiotics to help speed their recovery. Always follow the full dosage instructions your vet provides for any dog antibiotics.
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
The Bordetella vaccine for dogs protects against a specific virus and is widely available to help keep your dog safe from kennel cough. It may also be called the 'kennel cough vaccination.' The intranasal version of this vaccine is generally administered annually, although boarding facilities and hospitals may recommend it every six months.
If your dog goes to dog parks, boarding facilities, dog daycare, or attends training classes or dog shows, they are at risk for contracting Bordetella. Many of these facilities require dogs to come with proof of the Bordetella vaccination, so it is in your dog's best interest for his health and extracurricular activities to get the vaccine.
Vaccinations are usually very safe, but the benefits of vaccinations should be weighed against the infrequent risks associated with them. Your vet may advise against the Bordetella vaccine if your dog is pregnant, immunocompromised, or sick and will speak with you about any risks that may be associated with a previous history of vaccines.
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.