Canine Cough: Does Your Dog Need The Bordetella Vaccine?

7 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog


If your dog tends to cough all of the time, you may think they have some type of pet allergy. Although dogs can experience allergies over time, allergies may not be the reason for your pet's cough. You may need to vaccinate your dog against Bordetella soon. Learn more about Bordetella and why you need to vaccinate your pet against it below.

What's Bordetella?

Bordetella, also known as kennel or canine cough, develops in cats and dogs that become infected with the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica m. The bacteria enter the animals' respiratory system through their mouth and nose. Pets that already suffer from a viral infection, such as distemper and canine reovirus, can be even more susceptible to Bordetella.  

Pets can pick up Bordetella from many places, including kennels and dog parks. The bacteria circulate through the air until the pets inhale them. Once the organisms enter the pets' respiratory system, they multiply and spread through the respiratory tract.        

Pets can experience many symptoms when they develop Bordetella, including honk-like coughing. Pets may also suffer from eye and nose discharge. Some pets may sneeze as well.  

If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms above, isolate them from other pets immediately. The Bordetella bacteria can spread from pet to pet. You also want to call a veterinarian and ask them to vaccinate your pet against Bordetella soon.      

What's the Bordetella Vaccine?

A veterinarian will need to perform a checkup on your dog prior to administering the vaccine. If your dog does exhibit signs of Bordetella, a vet may treat them with antibiotics and other medications first. After your pet recovers from their illness, a veterinarian will vaccinate them.   

A vet may use one of three methods to vaccinate your dog, including the:

  • injection method
  • nasal mist method
  • oral medication method

If your pet doesn't swallow pills properly, a veterinarian may use the injection or nasal mist method on them. If you have concerns about the vaccination methods, consult a vet right away.

A veterinarian may recommend you bring your pet back to the clinic for additional vaccinations in the future. The vaccinations won't completely prevent your pet from getting an infection in the future. The vaccinations can help reduce the symptoms your pet may experience if they do contract the infection again. However, you can reduce your pet's chances of getting Bordetella again by feeding them healthy food and by taking them to the veterinarian regularly.  

Learn more about Bordetella and pet vaccines by contacting a veterinarian soon.