Monday, January 26, 2015

Is Your Dog Vaccinated Against Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough is an upper respiratory illness that will make your dog miserable.  The Bordetella vaccine is intended to prevent Kennel Cough, a highly contagious illness that can be transmitted through the air or through direct contact with an infected dog.   If your dog gets boarded at a kennel or Veterinarian’s office,  gets  groomed, attends doggie day camp, or attends dog shows or competitions you may want to have a discussion with your Veterinarian about whether or not your dog should have the Bordetella vaccine.
 
My dog Isis checking in for day camp at PetSmart, looking like she owns the place!
 The main symptom of Kennel Cough is a continual dry, hacking cough that begins around three to seven days after the dog has been infected, and can last for several weeks.  Kennel Cough can make your dog positively miserable as he coughs uncontrollably all day and all night.  Watching him suffer through it will make you pretty miserable too! 


 According to PetMD,  Clinical cases of Kennel Cough are usually caused by several infectious agents working together to damage and irritate the lining of the dog's trachea and upper bronchii. The damage to the tracheal lining is fairly superficial, but exposes nerve endings that become irritated simply by the passage of air over the damaged tracheal lining. Once the organisms are eliminated the tracheal lining will heal rapidly.

The most common organisms associated with Canine Cough are the bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and two viruses called Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus. 

Veterinarians may prescribe medication to help reduce the symptoms.  Antibiotics are sometimes given as a precaution in case the Kennel Cough leads to other illness due to a lowered immune system the dog may experience as his body tries to fight the Kennel Cough. 

One of my foster dogs, Rudy, had a horrible case of Kennel Cough that lasted nearly 3 weeks. Click here to read Rudy's heartwarming story
Many boarding, doggie day camp, and grooming facilities require a dog to have the Bordetella vaccination before accepting them at their facility.  Many have requirements as to the # of weeks your pet must have been vaccinated prior to entering the facility; some will require one week, others may require several weeks.  Don’t wait until the week before you have to travel to ask what their vaccination requirements are! 

Although Kennel Cough is thought to be a concern mainly when dogs are in close contact and in enclosed areas, I worry that my dogs could potentially be infected at a dog park if they come in direct contact with a dog who has been infected.  An infected dog may not have visible symptoms yet, or he may have just recovered from Kennel Cough but still be carrying it.

My darling boy Rudy, after he recovered from his terrible bout of Kennel Cough.  You can barely tell these two photos are of the same dog!
Bordetella is considered by most Veterinarians to be an optional vaccination, not a required or “core” vaccination.  Since we board our dogs a few times a year, sometimes send them to doggie day camp, and take them to the groomers every few  months they get vaccinated annually.  The vaccine can be given either by injection or through the nose (intranasally).

Not everyone believes in giving their dog the Bordetella vaccine.  There are some who are concerned about over vaccinating their pets, and a few Veterinary specialists have been quoted as saying they don't believe the vaccine is necessary.  Personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry so I vaccinate both my dogs with the Bordetella vaccine every year, per my Veterinarian's recommendations.  If you're wondering whether or not getting the Bordetella vaccine is right for your dog, start a conversation with your Veterinarian and do some research on Bordetella yourself.

Does your dog get the Bordetella vaccine to prevent Kennel Cough?  What made you decide to vaccinate, or not vaccinate your dog against Kennel Cough?

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16 comments:

  1. Great Advice!! We make sure to get ours vaccinated annually also, they make various visits to the groomer each year!

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    1. Excellent! You'll be healthy & protected! Thanks for visiting us Dory!

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  2. I don't vaccinate for bordetella. Mr. N has caught kennel cough despite being vaccinated. I think it's only effective against a few strains.

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    1. Oh, that's awful! So sorry to hear it, I know how miserable Kennel Cough is. You're right there are some strains it doesn't protect against but it is aimed at the most common strains. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Great post! Sparkle isn't vaccinated against kennel cough, but I'm going to look into getting her vaccinated. I hate when she's sick.

    -Taylor Brione (Sparkle "The Posh Pup" Human)

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    1. Definitely discuss w/ your vet. It's such an awful illness, the dogs are super uncomfortable. Thanks for stopping by Taylor!

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  4. Great info on this post!
    Vaccines are SO impaw-tant!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Thanks Jenna! Yes, they are very important especially when our dogs are Dogs About Town socializing w/ lots of other dogs. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. We vaccinate the boys against kennel cough. Bentley caught it after spending the night at our vet! He was miserable and I said never again.

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    1. Boarding at a Vet's office is not an uncommon place to catch it. Anywhere there's numbers of dogs in close quarters is a risk. Poor Bentley, I know how awful it must have been for both of you. I'm glad he's protected now. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Thanks for sharing information about Kennel Cough. Fortunately our dogs have never caught it. The few times that we boarded them, we got shots against it. The facility required it. I was thankful for that. All the best!

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    1. I'm glad that many facilities require it, makes me feel more confident., is SO contagious. Thanks for visiting us on the blog Jeanne!

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  7. Great post. I've had a dog in the past that got kennel cough and it was hard to watch him cough until he was exhausted. Everyone in my home is fully vaccinated.

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    1. Thanks, glad you like the post! Isn't it awful to see them suffer, the coughing just doesn't end all day & all night. Glad everyone's vaccinated in your home - ours too. Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

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  8. We weren't vaccinated because we didn't have contact much with dogs we didn't know, but then when we started doing nose work and tracking where lots of dogs were around and Bailie goes to day care one day a week, we decided to do it. Our older sister isn't covered, but she doesn't do much around other dogs anymore.

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    1. Oh yeah, if they're out & about w/ so many other dogs I think it's a good idea. If they don't get out much it may not be needed but your Vet would know better. Thanks for stopping by Emma!

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