Bordetella Vaccine Treatment for Cats

Feline bordetella is a highly contagious respiratory infection. In dogs, the condition is known as kennel cough. Although it passes easily and quickly between kittens and weakened or older cats, an effective bordetella vaccine is available at veterinary offices. With adequate preparation, this disease should never pose a great risk to your cat. However, in case your cat does contract bordetella, familiarize yourself with the warning signs and treatments of the disease.

Causes and Symptoms of Feline Bordetella

Feline bordetella is passed from cat to cat or from dog to cat through the air, generally through hissing, meowing, spitting or howling. Although bordetella is, in and of itself, not a severely dangerous disease, it compromises the immune system, leaving the cat weakened and prone to other, more serious diseases.

Some of the most common symptoms of feline bordetella are:

  • Discharge from the nose, eyes and mouth
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Lethargy

In some cases, cats may carry the disease without displaying symptoms. This is one reason why bordetella is of particular concern in multi-cat households.

If your cat displays any of these symptoms, take him for veterinary examination immediately. A prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to restoring your cat's health efficiently and quickly.

Treating Feline Bordetella

Feline bordetella may be treated with an antibiotic regimen. Typically, Baytril and Clavamox are among the most common antibiotics used to address feline bordetella, although many other types of antibiotics may be equally effective. Generally, your veterinarian will consider other factors and health concerns when prescribing antibiotics to treat feline bordetella. Because some antibiotics carry mild or severe side effects, these drugs may not be appropriate for weakened or young cats.

Occasionally, veterinarians will prescribe antibiotic treatment programs for cats that have come into contact with the bordetella disease but that have not displayed symptoms. Vets do this in order to prevent further inspection, and also to slow the spreading of the disease by asymptomatic carriers.

Preventing and Minimizing Feline Bordetella

A highly effective feline bordetella vaccine exists. Vaccinate your pet against this disease regularly in order to prevent outbreaks. This is particularly useful in multi-cat households, where the risk of infection is far greater than in single-cat households. Consult with your veterinarian about the availability and schedule of feline bordetella vaccines.

Quarantining is an important prevention and minimization technique for feline bordetella as well. If one of your pets has been diagnosed with bordetella, keep that animal separated in a distinct part of your home, away from other pets. By keeping your pets separated from the infected cat, you decrease the chances of infection from one pet to the others.

Feline bordetella is a preventable, treatable disease. With the proper prevention techniques, this disease is of minimal concern to you and your pets. If you suspect that your cat does suffer from feline bordetella, tell a veterinarian immediately so to begin a treatment program that is appropriate for your pet.