What dog owners need to know about bordetella

It’s easy to get confused when it comes to understanding the various cold viruses your dog can contract, especially when the symptoms are so similar. You may have heard of something called “Kennel Cough,” which is the name to describe highly contagious respiratory infections spread among dogs. It is commonly passed from dogs living in close quarters, such as shelters, boarding facilities, groomers, and more.

What is Bordetella?

Bordetella is the most common bacteria leading to Kennel Cough in dogs, which causes your dog’s upper respiratory system to become inflamed and puts your dog at risk for contracting other infections, especially very young and very old dogs. Signs to look out for include a loud/strong cough, runny nose, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. Bordetella is not considered a fatal disease and can be treated with some rest and medication, depending on recommendations from your veterinarian.

Bordetella prevention

The bordetella vaccine is not considered a core vaccine (core vaccine = a vaccine vital to all dogs based on the risk of exposure, the severity of disease or transmissibility to humans), but is still recommended for puppies and annually for adult dogs. If your dog stays indoors most of the time and is not exposed to other dogs we recommend consulting a veterinarian to see if they recommend it for your dog or not.

It is important to understand that because symptoms of bordetella are similar to that of canine influenza and canine distemper, both of which are more serious viruses, consulting and visiting the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis is always the best route.

Keep your dog healthy this cold season!