If your puppy attends the groomer or a boarding facility then there will be various forms of preventive care that will help protect your dog from contracting serious diseases such as Bordetella. Our New Ulm vets are here to discuss Bordetella in dogs, the symptoms and what you can do to help prevent it.
What is Bordetella and How Does it Affect Dogs?
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is closely related to respiratory disease in dogs. It is one of the components of the canine infectious respiratory complex, sometimes referred to as kennel cough, upper respiratory infection, or infectious tracheobronchitis.
Bordetella in dogs is commonly thought of as one of the most common causes of infections such as kennel cough in dogs.
What is the Cause of Bordetella in Dogs?
Dogs who will be in areas where they may come into contact with other dogs such as doggy daycare, the groomers, the dog park, and boarding facilities, are more likely to come into contact with this virus and develop signs of an upper respiratory infection.
The main way dogs catch bordetella is by inhaling bacterial particles. When these particles reach the respiratory tract, the dog can experience an inflamed windpipe or voice box.
There are a variety of conditions that can increase a dog's risk of contracting this infection. 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)
Symptoms of Bordetella in Dogs
Symptoms of Bordetella infections in dogs primarily manifest as a persistent cough. Dog parents often say that the sound of the cough can resemble the noise a honking goose makes. Vets sometimes call this “reverse sneezing.”
There are a number of other symptoms that can also be caused by a Bordetella infection, these include:
- Eye discharge
- Less of an appetite
- A consistently runny nose
Treatment Options for Bordetella in Dogs
Luckily, Bordetella infections have the ability to clear up without medical intervention as long as no complications occur. But if you do bring your dog to your vet, they might prescribe antibiotics to help speed up recovery. Always follow the full dosage of any medicine prescribed by your vet.
Vaccines are also available to prevent infections. Your vet will administer these vaccines by injection or nose drops.
Prevention of Bordetella in Dogs Using Vaccines
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.” The intranasal version of the vaccine is typically administered annually, although boarding facilities or 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 must be weighed against any risks. Your veterinarian may advise against getting the Bordetella vaccine if your dog is immunocompromised, sick, or pregnant, and 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.