Injectable bordetella vaccine for dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, or kennel cough, is the most common upper respiratory infection that occurs in dogs. It can be spread easily, particularly among dogs that are in close contact with one another. Prevention is the key to stopping outbreaks of this disease. Kennel cough can be prevented by the injectable bordetella vaccine.


Kennel cough is caused by a bacterium called bordetella bronchiseptica. The symptoms of kennel cough are a dry, hacking cough and a watery nasal discharge. Symptoms may progress to lethargy, fever and even death. The injectable bordetella vaccine is the most important factor in preventing kennel cough and the symptoms that come with it.


The injectable bordetella vaccine contains a weakened strain of the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. By introducing a small amount of the bacteria into the dog through an injection, the dog's immune system is able to build up immunity to the bacteria. If the dog is exposed to the bacteria again, he will be able to successfully fight the bacteria. This will decrease the likelihood of contracting the disease and will decrease the intensity of the symptoms if he does contract kennel cough.


Your dog will need to be vaccinated with the bordetella vaccine if he is around other dogs. Many kennels, obedience schools, and "doggie daycare" facilities require this vaccination. Also, if your dog frequents areas where other dogs have been, such as a park, you will want to have him vaccinated. Kennel cough symptoms generally last 10 to 20 days, but the dog can carry the virus for a period of six to 14 weeks. Just because a dog is not exhibiting symptoms does not mean that he is not a carrier of the virus.


According to Vet Info, the injectable bordetella vaccine is administered in a series of two shots or injections given two to four weeks apart. Booster shots are required after a period of time to maintain effectiveness. The injectable bordetella vaccine can only be given after the dog is 4 months old. It can not be used on puppies younger than this. The injection takes four days to take effect. The intranasal version is immediate, but has side effects that can be bothersome such as frequent sneezing and a runny nose. Also, some dogs are very resistant to the nasal spray, so the injectable bordetella vaccine is used in these cases.


One of the side effects of injectable bordetella vaccine is pain or soreness at the injection site. This can last several days. Less common side effects include diarrhoea and nausea.

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