Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterial infection that is typically part of a complex of respiratory diseases that results in what is commonly known as “kennel cough” in dogs. This is a bit of a misnomer as a dog certainly does not need to be in a kennel situation to be exposed. Infected dogs will demonstrate signs of an upper respiratory infection including a dry hacking cough (some patients will even bring up phlegm or appear to be vomiting), nasal discharge, watery eyes, as well as a decreased appetite and energy level.
Because this infection is so widespread and easily transmitted, we consider it a core vaccine and recommend it for all dogs regardless of their current lifestyle. To ensure adequate protection, the bordetella vaccine is administered every 6 months. It is given as an intranasal spray (nose drops) to optimize the body’s immune response. The intranasal spray is more effective and safer for dogs (when compared to the injectable version of this vaccine) which is why we exclusively offer it to our patients.