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Importance of the Bordetella Pet Vaccination in Cats & Dogs

Importance of the Bordetella Pet Vaccination in Cats & Dogs

If your pup goes to the groomer or needs to be boarded at a facility while you are away, they will need to be protected from the highly contagious Bordetella virus. Our Pittsboro vets share some information about the importance of pet vaccinations for bordetella in cats and dogs.

Bordetella Vaccinations for Dogs

The Bordetella vaccine for dogs protects against this specific virus and is widely available to keep your dog safe from kennel cough. You may have heard it called the “kennel cough vaccine.” The intranasal version of the vaccine is typically administered annually, although boarding facilities or hospitals may recommend it every six months.

If your dog goes to dog parks, boarding facilities, dog daycare, or attends training classes or dog shows, then they are at risk for contracting bordetella. Many of these facilities require dogs to come with proof of the Bordetella vaccination, so it is in your dog’s best interest for his health and extracurricular activities to get the vaccine.

Vaccinations are usually very safe, but the benefits of vaccinations must be weighed against any risks. Your veterinarian may advise against getting the Bordetella vaccine if your dog is immunocompromised, sick, or pregnant, and they will discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine for dogs with a previous history of vaccine reactions.

How often does a dog need a Bordetella shot?

Your veterinarian will recommend a Bordetella booster shot every six-to-twelve months based on your pet's risk of exposure to Bordetella. 

This vaccination comes in two forms, an intranasal spray that your vet will administer in your dog's nose, and an injection. Both are comparably effective. The injectable Bordetella vaccine isn't suitable for dogs younger than 8 weeks, but the nasal spray version can be administered to dogs as young as 6 weeks old.  

What are the side effects of dog vaccinations against Bordetella?  How long do side effects last?

Just like vaccinations in people, mild adverse reactions are not only possible but to be expected as a result of vaccination. Reactions are generally mild and short-lived, so while it can be stressful to see your dog suffering from side effects, it's important to remember that they are healthier and safer for it.

Being prepared to care for your pup post-vaccine will make the process less stressful for both you and your dog. Below is a list of the most common side effects dogs can experience from the Bordetella vaccination.

Lethargy

A dog's most common reaction to the Bordetella vaccine is a feeling of malaise, lethargy, or discomfort, often accompanied by a very mild fever. This reaction arises as a side effect of the dog's immune system working to respond to the vaccine appropriately. These symptoms are quite normal and should only last one or two days. 

Lumps & Bumps

If your dog receives the injectable form of the Bordetella vaccine, lumps and bumps can occur around the injection site. A small, firm bump may develop, as well as some tenderness and stiffness in the area. Most likely these bumps are just the result of skin irritation, however, any time that the skin is punctured there is a possibility of infection. Be sure to keep an eye on the site where the injection was given. Look for signs of swelling, redness, discharge, and pain. If left untreated, infected areas may lead to more serious conditions. 

Sneezing & Cold-Like Symptoms

If your dog received their Bordetella vaccine as a nasal spray, then it is common and ordinary for symptoms of a cold to present themselves. Adverse reactions to nasal spray Bordetella vaccination include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Most dogs recover from these symptoms within a day or two.
What should I do if my dog is coughing after receiving the Bordetella vaccine?
As a general rule, reactions to the vaccine are mild and short-lived.  If your dog demonstrates any of the above symptoms, including a persistent cough, for more than a day or two you should contact your vet to seek additional medical care. In rare extreme cases, a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine may require medical intervention.

Are there allergic reactions to the Bordetella dog vaccine?

In extremely rare cases dogs can have an anaphylactic response to vaccination. This is a severe allergic reaction characterized by swelling in the face, hives, vomiting, issues breathing, diarrhea, and itchiness in your dog. This reaction typically occurs within a few minutes or hours of your dog receiving the vaccine but it can happen as late as forty-eight hours following vaccination. If your dog is showing any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis after receiving the Bordetella vaccine, contact your emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Pittsboro vets today to schedule an appointment if you are concerned about your pet contracting bordetella.

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Our vets at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our talented veterinary team is passionate about caring for the pets of Pittsboro. Contact us today to book your first appointment. 

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