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If your pet is a regular at day care, grooming facilities or the
dog park, those shots every 6 to 12 months to prevent canine infectious tracheobronchitis (aka kennel cough) may be inconvenient, but the vaccine against Bordetella is important in order to protect your pet from the hacking cough and snotty nose brought on by the easily contracted bacteria that causes the highly contagious disease in both dogs and cats.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs. It can also infect
cats, rabbits and, in rare cases, humans. It is one of the more common bacterial causes of canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also sometimes called kennel cough. Bordetella bronchiseptica is one of several viral and bacterial agents responsible for kennel cough syndrome. Bordetella is highly contagious, easily transmitted through the air or direct contact, and resistant to destruction in the environment.
In healthy adult dogs, Bordetella typically causes no more than a mild illness. In puppies or
dogs with underlying health issues, however, it can cause severe illness or even death. The same can be said for
cats who suffer this infection.
A safe and effective vaccine for the upper-respiratory infection is available for dogs and cats.
The vaccine is considered a noncore vaccine for both dogs and cats. In other words, it’s not for all dogs and cats. Rather, it’s best reserved for those likely to come in contact with this bacterial organism (i.e., cats and dogs in kennel, commercial or social situations or who come in close contact with other animals).
The vaccine for dogs is administered by injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection) or intranasally (nose drops). The feline vaccine is available only in the intranasal formulation.
Though your veterinarian is always the best guide for making vaccination decisions, the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners vaccination guidelines recommend the following schedule:
Administering a vaccine is a medical procedure, and there are times when a vaccine may not be recommended. For example, your veterinarian may advise against vaccinating an animal that is currently sick, pregnant or may not have adequate immune system functioning to respond to a vaccination. For pets with a previous history of vaccine reactions, the potential risk of a future vaccine reaction should be weighed against the potential benefits of vaccination. These and other issues are evaluated when deciding what is best for your pet.
No alternatives to this vaccine are currently offered in most veterinary settings.
American Association Feline Practitioners Vaccine Guidelines
AAHA Vaccine Guidelines
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
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