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What Is Bordetella Vaccine For Dogs? And How Does It Work?


Bordetella vaccine is a non-core vaccine administered to dogs often exposed to other dogs in housing or social situations.

Both pups and older dogs get the bordetella vaccination. This vaccination helps to protect against kennel cough, a common ailment. Kennel cough is very infectious and readily passed from dog to dog. The illness is usually not fatal in healthy adult dogs. It may, however, give your dog a severe cough and a runny nose, making them feel ill. This illness, however, may be fatal in pups, elderly dogs, and unwell pets. The vaccination may be administered through an injection beneath the dog's skin or via the nose, depending on the dog's behavior and tolerance. If you are a new dog owner, you may be wondering how often this vaccination should be administered.

A short-haired woman in the black shirt is holding a brown dog and walking
A short-haired woman in the black shirt is holding a brown dog and walking

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough describes a variety of infectious respiratory illnesses.

COPYRIGHT_OAPL: Published on https://www.oapublishinglondon.com/pop/bordetella-vaccine/ by Dr. Cooney Blades on 2022-05-22T23:00:33.342Z

It's spread in kennels, thus the name.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, kennel cough is not lethal, but it may develop into fatal bronchopneumonia in pups and chronic bronchitis in older or immunocompromised dogs.

Assessing your dog's risk of contracting the illness is vital before vaccinating.

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is readily passed from dog to dog by aerosol droplets, direct touch, or contact with infected surfaces, including food and water bowls, toys, or kennel runs.

Your dog is most likely to pick it up in an area where many dogs gather, but he may pick it up from any contaminated environment. You can bring it home to him if you work or volunteer among dogs a lot.

Dogs with kennel cough have a loud, honking cough.

Kennel cough in dogs causes a runny nose, sneezing, appetite loss, lethargy, and fever.

These symptoms are comparable to dogs afflicted with canine distemper and the canine influenza virus, far more dangerous than kennel cough.

Kennel Cough In Dogs

Bordetella Vaccine Schedule

Between the ages of six and eight weeks, puppies should get the injectable form of the bordetella vaccine.

Then, four weeks later, or between the ages of 10 and 12 weeks, they should take a second injectable booster.

Adult dogs should be vaccinated against bordetella every six to twelve months, depending on their risk factors.

Furthermore, suppose you take your dog to locations where other dogs routinely socialize, such as dog parks, outdoor shopping malls, or restaurants that allow dogs. In that case, it is highly suggested that you give your dog a bordetella booster every six months.

Because being around other dogs increases your dog's chance of developing kennel cough, administering the vaccination regularly may help keep it at bay.

If your dog spends most of his time at home and only goes for occasional walks, his chance of developing kennel cough is minimal.

As a result, they should only get the booster once every 12 months. Even if your dog is at minimal risk, it is still vital to provide a booster.

If another dog is afflicted, kennel cough may be contracted across fence lines or when walking your dog around the neighborhood.

Intranasal Bordetella Vaccine

The intranasal Bordetella vaccination has the further benefit of being bivalent or trivalent, adding parainfluenza and adenovirus-2, offering even more excellent protection against common causes of infectious respiratory illnesses in dogs.

The oral Bordetella vaccination is less often used than the intranasal form, and studies suggest that it is less effective.

It is, however, more effective than no immunization at all. Therefore it may be a viable alternative for dogs that can not tolerate intranasal vaccines.

The intranasal vaccination may be administered once to adult dogs or pups over the age of 16 weeks, and the injectable vaccine should be given twice, two to four weeks apart.

If pups get the intranasal or injectable vaccination before the age of 16 weeks, they will generally need a booster the following month.

Is The Bordetella Vaccine Effective Immediately?

One benefit of the intranasal Bordetella vaccination is that it produces protection quickly, maybe within 48-72 hours.

This may be useful if a puppy has to be boarded or groomed quickly (but it's usually ideal to vaccinate 1-2 weeks before a potential exposure if feasible).

The oral Bordetella vaccination is less often used than the intranasal form, and studies suggest that it is less effective.

It is, however, more effective than no immunization at all. Therefore it may be a viable alternative for dogs that can not tolerate intranasal vaccines.

Potential Side Effects

The following are possible vaccination side effects:

  • Anger or minor pain resulting from having liquid squirted into their nostrils (fortunately, the sensation only lasts a few seconds).
  • Sneezing for a brief period after the intranasal immunization.
  • Tiredness, a low temperature, or coughing are less frequent symptoms.
  • A severe or allergic response is conceivable, although quite unlikely.
  • If an injectable vaccination is given, there may be some soreness at the injection site for a day or more. Neither the intranasal nor the oral immunizations are painful.

Vaccine Reactions in Dogs


The most prevalent cause of kennel cough in dogs is Bordetella, although it is not the only one.

Other bacteria and viruses, such as the parainfluenza virus, may cause kennel cough, which means that even vaccinated dogs can catch it somewhere else.

This is why, even if their dogs have had the Bordetella vaccine, owners must be mindful of the signs of kennel cough.

People Also Ask

Does My Dog Need A Bordetella Vaccine?

The Bordetella vaccination helps prevent kennel cough.

It is given to animals by veterinarians in the form of a squirt in the nostril.

This vaccination is not required for all dogs.

However, it is strongly suggested for friendly dogs and dogs who will be boarded (most boarding facilities require proof of a recent Bordetella vaccine).

Can Vaccinated Dogs Still Get Bordetella?

Most vaccinations developed to combat this bacterium do not truly stop infections from occurring, but they do considerably lower symptoms, and the number of germs shed.

Because of this, your dog can have kennel cough even if they have been vaccinated against it.

How Often Do Dogs Need A Bordetella Shot?

Based on the likelihood that your pet may contact Bordetella, your veterinarian will advise you to give your pet a Bordetella booster vaccine every six to twelve months.

This immunization is available in two formats: an intranasal spray, which your veterinarian will administer into your dog's nose, and an injection.

Both approaches are equally efficient.

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Dr. Cooney Blades

Dr. Cooney Blades

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