Whole Dog Journal Tips March 9, 2015

(Kennel Cough #2) Bordetella Vaccination

Most boarding facilities require proof of Bordetella vaccination for dogs who will be visiting. However, because there are many strains of Bordetella, and because no vaccine protects every patient, some immunized dogs contract tracheobronchitis despite being vaccinated. Veterinary recommendations range from vaccinating every four months to not at all.

“There are two kinds of Bordetella vaccine,” says Stacey Hershman, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. “The intranasal vaccine is highly effective and very safe since it is not systemic but goes down the nose into the throat. I do not recommend the injectable vaccine since it can cause negative side effects like lethargy, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.

“I never vaccinate animals more than once a year for kennel cough, and then only if they are going to a boarding kennel. Kennel cough is not fatal in adult dogs, who usually board, therefore it would be over-vaccinating in my opinion to do it more than once a year. Healthy, strong immune systems are resistant and do not catch it, which is another reason not to vaccinate unless the dog is going to a kennel that requires it.”

No matter what your dog’s vaccination status, a few natural preventives can’t hurt, especially whenever your dog is exposed to dogs with active or recent infections.

For advice on preventing kennel cough as well as natural and effective ways to soothe the symptoms, purchase Kennel Cough Prevention and Remedies from Whole Dog Journal.