Bordetella (kennel cough)

Commonly called "kennel cough," this disease can be caused by many different bacterial or viral agents. These are highly contagious, airborne microorganisms and can cause mild to severe inflammation of the windpipe and lungs.

The most characteristic sign is a harsh, dry, hacking cough, sounding as though a bone is stuck in the dog's throat. On occasion, pneumonia may follow from secondary bacterial complications. Since the disease is so easily spread, it is common to see tracheobronchitis go dog to dog through a neighborhood or kennel.

We suggest that all dogs of any age receive a kennel cough vaccine (Bordetella) annually if interacting with other dogs at doggy daycare and boarding, grooming facilities or visiting dogs parks.

Bordetella vaccines are given to puppies ideally at about 11-12 weeks of age, boostered 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine, given again 1 year later and then given annually after that.

We ask that all patients receive a full examination before vaccines are administered. Certain underlying health problems, which may be difficult to recognize, can interfere with vaccine efficacy. Additionally, if your pet is incubating an infection, vaccines may complicate the problem. For these reasons, Dr. Warren wants to ensure that your pet is healthy and in suitable condition to receive the vaccines. During the examination visit, Dr. Warren and our technicians will discuss necessary and recommended vaccines and help determine the vaccine protocol that will best serve your pet.

WSVMA, Infectious Diseases of Dogs and Cats and their prevention [pamphlet], Snoqualmie, WA.