Bordetella Dog Shots

Bordetella dog shots are administered on an optional basis and they protect dogs from the bacteria bordetella bronchi septica. Bordetella bronchiseptica is rarely fatal in healthy adult dogs, but it can cause a number of distressing symptoms such as dry, hacking cough, clear nasal discharge and clear eye discharge.

This upper respiratory illness is often found in dogs with kennel cough complex or other respiratory diseases. Many pet owners do not opt for bordetella dog shots, veterinarians recommend the vaccination for puppies, immune-compromised adult animals, show dogs, boarded dogs, dogs that frequent grooming salons, dogs that attend obedience classes, and dogs that live in kennels.

Bordetella Dog Shots and Vaccines

There are two types of bordetella dog shots including an intranasal vaccine and an injectable vaccine. The intranasal vaccine protects against bordetella and parainfluenza. Intranasal protection offers the most immediate immunity against bordetella bronchi septica. The injectable vaccine must be administered twice. It is administered at eight weeks and repeated two to four weeks later. Intranasal bordetella vaccinations may be administered at three weeks of age. In other situations shots should be administered at least one week before entering a high risk environment.

Bordetella dog shots should be updated annually. Annual boosters offer some protection, but according to manufacturers of the preventative, because of the short duration of immunity, semi-annual boosters may be more appropriate for high-risk dogs.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica Diagnosis and Complications

In puppies and immune-comprised adult dogs, untreated bordetella bronchiseptica can lead to secondary bacterial invasion of the lower respiratory tract. This can lead to life-threatening  pneumonia. Some dogs may be carrying the organism and may not be ill, but they can still cough and transmit the illness into the air.

If you suspect that your pet has an upper respiratory illness, it could be bordetella bronchiseptica. It is important to see your vet immediately. Your vet will collect a culture using nasal swabs or transtracheal washings.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica Treatment

There are several things you can do at home to make your pet more comfortable while the antibiotics do their work. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if your pet’s upper respiratory symptoms are accompanied by fever and mucopurulent nasal discharge. Mucopurulent nasal discharge contains both mucus and pus.  Your vet will also prescribe antibiotics if bordetella is isolated (not part of another condition).

Antibiotics are administered by nebulizer, orally, or by injection. Antibiotics administered by nebulizer are more effective that those given by injection or orally. Nebulizers are more effective because bacteria attach to the mucosal surface of the respiratory tract and are difficult to reach with systemic antibiotics.

To make your pet comfortable at home, keep him in a warm, draft-free environment. Use a humidifier to help add moisture to the air, which helps ease respiratory triggers, and you should also monitor your pet to make sure he does not engage in stressful activities. Overexertion can hinder a smooth recovery.