Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Kennel Cough

Question from Sharon in Dover:
Why do dogs have to have an annual Bordetella treatment if they are not kenneled?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
The requirements for Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination vary with each veterinary office, boarding facility and grooming shop. The vaccine can be given as an injection into the skin or squirted into the nasal passages. Previously given on an annual basis, the vaccine is now recommended every 6 months to ensure protection. Many facilities will require that dogs receive the vaccine to prevent illness. The recommendation is to keep your pet healthy as well as others with whom he/she may have contact.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is the agent responsible for infectious tracheobronchitis. The term "kennel cough" has been used because the infection is highly contagious and easily passed between dogs in close quarters such as a boarding facility. The infection results in a hacking cough. Although the cough is often harsh, infected dogs have either no other symptoms or mild concurrent problems. Symptoms will become worse depending on secondary viral infections.

Some cases of infectious tracheobronchitis will resolve without treatment, but antibiotics and cough suppressants can help to relieve symptoms and hasten recovery. If your dog is coughing, please consult your veterinarian.

Posted April 25, 2006

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