Symptoms for Dog Illnesses Vaccinations

Bordetella and Kennel Cough the same thing?

Kennel cough

Checking in your dog at a kennel you might be asking yourself, what is Bordetella? To protect your dog many facilities require your dog to be vaccinated against Bordetella before taking your dog in. Does my dog really need this vaccination? Bordetella can cause unwanted transmittable diseases, including a very common one, known as kennel cough.

What is Bordetella?

It’s a simplification of the virus Bordetella Bronchisepticais. This virus is one of several that are responsible for canine respiratory diseases. It can cause your dog to get Kennel Cough. Bordetella is airborne and highly contagious. Because of this it allows easy transmission in populated indoor environments like kennels, animal shelters, or an indoor shows. However it is an airborne virus, it can also easily spread outdoors, commonly at dog parks.

Symptoms of Bordetella include:

  • Persistent dry coughing (Lasting 7-10 days)
  • Retching, regurgitation
  • Watery nasal discharge
  • Pneumonia, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy (severe cases)

Note that other respiratory diseases may show similar symptoms. It is best to consult your veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis.

Schedule of Vaccination

Administration of a non-core vaccine can be done in multiple ways: Parenteral (under the skin), intranasal (nose drops) or intraoral (in the cheek). Talk to your veterinarian to know which method is most appropriate for your dog. If your dog interacts a lot in public. Frequently visiting a dog show, dog parks or being boarded increases exposure. They would highly benefit being vaccinated. Previously mentioned, most kennels require your dog to be vaccinated against Bordetella. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with the information if your dog would benefit from the vaccine.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has provided a recommended guide for Bordetella vaccination:

  • When vaccinating a puppy, the intranasal vaccine can be given as early as 3 weeks of age. Typically, a second dose is given 2 to 4 weeks later.
  • Puppies can receive the injectable vaccine starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age. A booster will be needed between 10 and 12 weeks of age.
  • Puppies over 16 weeks of age and adult dogs can receive the intranasal vaccine. Along with the injectable 2 to 4 weeks apart.
  • Dogs should receive a booster shots every 6 to 12 months, depending on exposure risk.

Note: It is important wait exposing your dog to other dogs for at least 5 days. This will allow the vaccine to work; and give your dog’s immune system to build up the protection it needs.

Side effects

Vaccination may cause side effects, including nasal discharge, sore injection site, a low-grade fever, fatigue, or loss of appetite. Vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty in breathing for severe rare cases. Nonetheless, if these symptoms persist longer than few days please call your vet.


This virus is highly contagious for your pets. Luckily it’s easily prevented with vaccinations. Often people use Kennel Cough and Bordetella interchangeably. However, Kennel Cough of the illnesses caused by the Bordetella virus. Read our article on Kennel Cough for more information.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment