Bordetella Vaccination

Why does my dog need Bordetella Vaccination?

Bordetella is a bacterium that causes a severe cough (Kennel Cough) that many clients say sounds like their dog is “choking to death”.  This is not the only germ that is capable of causing what is commonly called Kennel Cough, but it is the most common germ that does.  Another virus that causes similar disease is Parainfluenza, but this organism is usually included in other vaccinations that most dogs usually receive.


Kennel Cough is a highly contagious disease whose symptoms can last for three weeks or longer.  One coughing dog in a kennel can spread the disease to any other dog that is susceptible.   The disease is most easily spread in humid environments as the germ can stay suspended in the air longer when the air is humid.  It just so happens that the most humid times of the year in Tucson are summer and winter, these are the seasons when it is most common to board pets.  Our kennels are vented to the exterior and have positive air flow.  We clean with spray bottles and towels, we never spray water indoors.  Any dog that presents here coughing is kept in our spacious isolation area.  So as you see, Bordetella Vaccination along with several other steps keeps our kennel cough free.


Bordetella vaccine is probably the most effective vaccine given to dogs.  In combination with scrupulous cleaning and humidity reduction in the kennels, Kennel Cough is all but nonexistent at Wiseman Boarding Kennel. The two or three coughing cases a year we see after boarding are usually related to the dog talking to much with the new friends that they made here.  In other words, they get laryngitis from talking too much.


So why doesn’t my dog routinely get the Bordetella Vaccine?  This is not generally a “core” vaccine that most secluded indoor house dog gets.  This is a vaccine that should be given to dogs that are boarded, go away for breeding, go to dog shows, travel in motor homes, go to the dog park, go to the pet store, or are regularly walked in the neighborhood.


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