Bordetella Vaccine - Kennel Cough Preventative

Published: 07th March 2008
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The Bordetella vaccine is commonly given to dogs to prevent kennel cough. I put emphasis on the word "prevention" because like the flu shot in humans, the Bordetella vaccine is a prevention - not a cure. All my puppies receive their first Bordetella vaccination at 8 weeks (before they leave my care) and all my adult dogs receive boosters every 6 months.

I follow this schedule (which my veterinarian recommends) because my dogs live in a group environment. Most boarding facilities and groomers also require proof of Bordetella vaccination, within the last 6 month, before they will allow a dog in their facilities.

I have read that some people believe that kennel cough is not life threatening, is self-curing, and self-limiting and therefore they do not believe in vaccinating their pets with the Bordetella vaccine. I, on the other hand, believe in the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure."

I have personally seen cases where a simple bout of Kennel Cough left untreated soon developed in to more serious conditions such as upper respiratory infection and in some cases pneumonia. Both of these conditions are serious, cost hundreds of dollars in medical bills, and caused their owners heartbreak as they watched their beloved pet suffer.

Kennel cough is highly contagious among dogs and can be spread at such places as dog parks, dog beaches, groomers, boarding kennels, and other common meeting areas. Because of this, I highly recommend that you check with your veterinary clinic and have your dog vaccinated according to their instructions.

The Bordetella vaccine comes in two forms; a nasal drop and a vaccine that is injected. The nasal form goes to work faster but also diminishes faster. The injection form goes to work slower but also diminishes slower.

If you are thinking about medicating your dog yourself, you can purchase the nasal form of the Bordetella vaccine at several online pet medication websites. The treatment comes in two parts - part one is sterile water that is mixed with the dry Bordetella vaccine (the second part). Once the two parts are mixed together the solution is squirted into one nostril of your dog (no need to do both nostrils) and that's it. Don't be surprised if your dog sneezes some of it out, this is normal, and is anticipated therefore treatment quantity is a little more than is actually needed.

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Kennel cough info on September 7, 2011 said:
Kennel cough is a highly contagious canine illness characterized by inflammation of the upper respiratory system. It can be caused by viral infections such as canine distemper, canine adenovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, or canine respiratory coronavirus, or bacterial infections such as Bordetella bronchiseptica.
dosburros on September 7, 2011 said:
Most people have heard of Kennel Cough, but few are aware of exactly what it is. Kennel cough can be extremely distressing for both dog and owner and correct identification of the illness is important. Whilst kennel cough is in itself rarely fatal, it can lead to serious illnesses such as bronchopneumonia.
Adrian on September 7, 2011 said:
Well I had a dog with Kennel Cough and it is very upsetting, the dog was only young and it was our first pet so we did get very worried. Fortunately the vet was able to sort things.
Tom on September 12, 2011 said:
You wouldn't not give your baby or child vaccines to illness and virus' so why treat your dog any differently. Your dog could get seriously ill and even die from kennel cough, a simple vaccine can stop this so I feel this is well worth it. The death of a pet can be terribly distressing and upsetting for any owner and if a vaccine can stop this pain then what reason do you have to not do it.

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