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To the Rescue: Bordetella Basics

Ever wonder why it seems nearly impossible (for me, anyway) to get off a long plane ride and not come down with a sniffle the following week? I've heard that it's in part because of the close quarters, shared air, and low cabin humidity that makes germ transmission all too easy. But what does this have to do with pets, you may wonder? Turns out, like the common cold, the same factors can come into play with the canine cough, too.

Sometimes called "kennel cough," this is a complex of infections usually consisting of the bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and two viruses called Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus and even an organism called Mycoplasma.. And, like the human version of the common cold, the organisms that cause canine cough are airborne and can spread quickly and easily in any closed environment. If you board your dog, you'll see Bordetella on the list of required vaccinations, but not all vets will standardly suggest this shot. Learn more about it when you

.

While there is a risk of transmission anywhere pooches congregate, kennels, daycare, and boarding facilities often have a similar environment to the airplane – a large number of dogs, or people, in one enclosed spot makes it a germy danger zone! This vaccination can be administered either as a shot or drops in the nose – with the intra-nasal Bordetella vaccine producing immunity slightly faster than the injectable version and lasting between six and 12 months. If your unlucky pup happens to come down with this illness, it's not usually a life-threatening disease but, like reverse sneezing, it's a noisy problem that sounds like something is caught in your pup's throat. The dry, hacking cough can last from 7 to 21 days but the majority of dogs with the ailment continue to eat, sleep, play, and act normally . . . except for that persistent, annoying coughing that is.

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aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
And this is why I would NEVER EVER buy a dog from a pet store. Almost every dog comes down with this among so many other ailments due to the lack of proper care there. My sister worked at one in HS and is now finishing up school to be a vet and the horror stories she told me makes me feel bad whenever I step inside one. I have actually spoken to store managers after seeing one store have almost all their dogs laying in their own waste. It's so sad.
wren1 wren1 8 years
I've done the vaccine once when I boarded my dog, but he picked up kennel cough from dogs in the neighborhood. We just waited it out (vet's rec) and it went away.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 8 years
How timely, both of my pups have just come down with this. I have mixed feelings about the kennel cough vaccine. It's not really all that serious of a disease (most of the time, there's always a chance of complications) - it's not even necessary to treat the cough, lots of pet parents just wait it out like a cold. And there's no real way to know how long the immunity lasts, so you could end up having to get this vaccine 2x year. That being said, I just brought a new puppy home from a breeder, turns out he had the very beginings of kennel cough (she's a good breeder, but a KC outbreak can happen just about anywhere). Unfortunately the vet I went to missed the diagnosis, and now my first dog is sick too. He ended up with a bloody nose the other day, very upsetting to me. The new vet I went to said it was related to the KC. He's been ok since then. So, as much as I don't like to over-vaccinate dogs, every time I see his runny nose I can't help but think that I should have vaccinated him before bringing the new dog home.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Those are the cutest pups ever! :love:
melizzle melizzle 8 years
I used to only get this vaccine done before boarding, but now I've made it a regular event... better safe than sorry, especially since Frankie has a lot of puppy friends.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
every vet we've had has told us we need this. We go to dog parks a lot and I want him to be protected from as much as possible! Speaking a vets, I still want to look into pet insurance.
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