Sunday, September 17, 2023

How To Administer Bordetella Vaccine

Intranasal Bordetella Vaccine Vs Subcutaneous Bordetella Vaccine Dog

Should Your Dog Get a Bordetella Vaccine?

Over the last several years, the decision of whether or not to vaccinate a pet has become somewhat controversial.

Most pet owners would bring in their puppies and pets to the vet for their yearly shots and not think twice about doing it. This was necessary for keeping pets healthy.

However, with the number of diseases that dogs and pets are at risk for, and with research suggesting a link between the onset of diseases and vaccinations, many pet owners are beginning to think twice before vaccinating their puppies.

The most common types of vaccinations are injectable.

The most common injectable vaccinations are formulated to protect animals from parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, bordetella, and rabies. With the advancements in modern veterinary medicine, vaccines are now available in different forms, such as in the eyes, nose or mouth.

For example, as we explored above, the vaccine for Bordetella bronchiseptica is available as an oral vaccine, a nasal vaccine or as an injectable vaccine. Nasal vaccines are often placed directly in the nasal canal.

However, there are pros and cons to each type of vaccination, and not all are effective at protecting your puppy against diseases.

What Are The Most Common Side Effects Of The Bordetella Vaccination For Dogs

With any vaccine, mild adverse reactions are not only possible but to be expected. It may be somewhat upsetting to see your pet have a reaction to a vaccine, but it’s important to keep in mind that these reactions are generally very mild and quite short-lived. Knowing what to keep an eye out for in terms of vaccine reactions and what to do if your pup starts displaying more severe symptoms can help make the process of receiving a Bordetella vaccination less stressful for your pup and for you!


The most common reaction a dog will have to receiving the Bordetella vaccine is a feeling of malaise, lethargy, or discomfort, often accompanied by a very mild fever. Many people would describe this feeling as “off.” This reaction is the immune system of your dog working to respond to the vaccine appropriately. These symptoms are quite normal and should only last one or two days. If your dog isn’t back to their normal levels of energy after a couple of days, contact your vet.

Lumps & Bumps

If your dog receives the injectable form of the Bordetella vaccine, lumps and bumps can occur, especially around the injection site. A small, firm bump may develop, as well as some tenderness and stiffness in the area. These bumps are the result of your dog’s immune system rushing in to fight irritation at the injection site.

Sneezing & Cold Like Symptoms

Serious Reactions to Vaccinations

Reduction Of Diluent Volume To Reduce Volume/dose

When administering intranasal vaccine to small breeds, particularly small brachycephalic breeds, the volume of diluent may be arbitrarily reduced when reconstituting lyophilized vaccine antigen. Doing so reduces the volume of vaccine that reaches the nasopharynx without reducing antigen concentration or vaccine efficacy.

Read Also: What Is The Difference Between Antibodies And Vaccines

Hives Or Swelling Of Paws And Face

Hives or Urticaria are the most common allergic reaction in dogs.

These nasty-looking bumps occur when the degradation of heparin cells occurs and releases all of the histamines at once. Histamine is what causes us to sneeze, cough and attempt to get allergens out of the body.

Hives can develop from a lot of different things, but they most likely are a result of:

  • Vaccines
  • Food some dogs like to get into the grape tomatoes or other fruits and veggies in the garden, but could be allergic to them.
  • Insect bites many dogs are extremely allergic to bees.

How To Soothe Hives

Hives are usually treated with steroids and Benadryl. For a severe case of hives, you need to get to the emergency vet quickly. The pink antihistamines you have in the medicine cabinet will not suffice in this case. Veterinarians will have hefty doses of injected Benadryl and steroids that will work much faster and effectively than a pill.

All cases arent so severe, but continued inflammation can lead to swelling of the tongue or throat. This can turn a simple allergic reaction into a life-threatening situation.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Kennel Cough

Vaccine Storage, Handling and Administration

If your dog is having symptoms of kennel cough, I recommend visiting your veterinarian. They can examine your dog and prescribe medications to help reduce the symptoms that your dog is experiencing.

Most cases of kennel cough will resolve in 1 to 2 weeks with veterinary treatments. In addition, if your dog is feeling under the weather, consider checking out this Cozy Calming Pet Bed .

Recommended Reading: Who All Qualifies To Receive The Pneumococcal Vaccination

Does Your Dog Need The Bordetella Vaccine

The Bordetella vaccine for dogs is a non-core vaccine, meaning its not necessary for every dog.

I don’t think that all dogs absolutely need it, Dr. Schwartz explained. But if they go to training classes or daycare or go to dog parks or are boarded frequently or at all, they should have it.

And even though its a non-core vaccine, a lot of daycare centers, boarding kennels or dog parks will still require pups to be vaccinated for Bordetella, since its contagious and easily spread from dog to dog.

Manufacturers Of The Bordetella Vaccine For Dogs

There are several manufacturers of Bordetella vaccines today. Some of these vaccines also protect against the canine parainfluenza virus and the canine adenovirus.

Injectable Bordetella bronchiseptica

What is the major difference between the oral, intranasal and injectable versions? All of these vaccine types work, but the selection process is also determined by how fast we need protection, the stress level of the dog for administration and the underlying health of the pet.

The intranasal and oral vaccines do work and protect faster, and they are a great choice if your dog needs to go to a boarding facility within a few days of vaccination. However, if you have more time and planning before a boarding event, the injectable vaccine is a good option and provides longer lasting immunity. And, as mentioned, some dogs are not comfortable with oral or intranasal administration of a vaccine, and that may make injectable versions more appropriate.

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Prophylactic Use Of Antibiotics

Although not indicated for the prevention of signs of CIRD in individual pets, I have utilized doxycycline, 5 mg/kg PO Q 24 H for 5 days, administered to all dogs entering a large animal shelter experiencing high rates of acute onset cough. Follow-up over a 30-day period indicated:

  • Rapid and substantial reduction in incidence of CIRD within the population
  • Higher placement rates
  • Reduced euthanasia rates
  • Lower operating costs.

Anecdotal observations suggest that empirical, daily administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic may be of benefit in managing endemic respiratory disease associated with bacteria among shelter-housed dogs. While the cost of doxycycline may prohibit implementing programmatic treatment of all dogs entering a shelter, other less expensive, broad-spectrum antibiotics are available and may augment attempts to reduce the frequency or severity of CIRD in populations of co-housed dogs.

Side Effects And Risks Associated With The Vaccine

Risks of Over-vaccinating Pets

As with any vaccines, some side effects can be seen even with the Oral Bordetella vaccine. Some of these side effects can be mild and unnoticeable, but some may be life-threatening if not addressed immediately.

Some of the mild side effects may include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, and fever. The more severe symptoms are in the range of allergy symptoms. These include swelling on the head in the face area, enlargement of lymph nodes, hives on the stomach and ears, high fever, anaphylaxis, death.

If you, as a pet owner, notice any of these symptoms, no matter how mild, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Recommended Reading: How Many Meningococcal B Vaccines Are Required

Dosing For Herbal Immune Blend & Garlic

  • Small dogs under 30 lbs: feed 1/4 a freshly minced garlic clove + 3/4 tsp of the herb blend twice a day
  • Medium sized dogs 30 to 50 lbs: feed 1/2 a freshly minced garlic clove + ½ Tbsp of the herbal blend twice per day day
  • For large and giant dogs 50 lbs+: feed 1 freshly minced garlic clove and 1 tbsp of the herb blend twice a day

Or, for an even greater benefit, you can infuse the herbs to make a tea. Simply pour hot water over your dogs dose and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Then add the whole mixture to your dogs meal. This will give your dog a nice warm meal as well.

Why Is More Than One Dose Of Vaccine Given To Pups

There are two reasons. First, without complicated testing it is impossible to know when a pup has lost the passive protection it gets from its mother. An early decline in a puppy’s maternal antibody can leave it susceptible to infection at a very young age. A strong maternal immunity can actually interfere with early vaccination . Second, particularly with killed vaccines, the first dose is a priming dose, and the second dose boosts the response to a higher, longer-lasting level of immunity.

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How Does The Bordetella Vaccine Work

Like all vaccines, Bordetella works by exposing your pet to a small dose of nonpathogenic bordetella bacteria either by injection or by nose drops. The intranasal vaccine usually contains a modified live parainfluenza virus and a strain of Bordetella that does not cause disease.

The vaccine can also be administered by injecting an inactivated bacteria into the body. The advantage of the nasal vaccine is that the nose is where most dogs will pick up the disease. The disadvantage of the nasal vaccine is that some pets develop a mild respiratory disorder, especially after the first vaccination.

The idea of a vaccine is that it introduces the body to a nonpathogenic virus or bacteria so that the immune system can recognize it and fight against it in the future. Once the body finds a new agent to fight, it begins to produce antibodies, a human or animal’s “weapon” against virus and bacteria.

“The Bordetella vaccine does not cover all strains of canine flu or upper respiratory infections,” cautions Dunbar. “It does cover the Bordetella bacteria, which is one of the most common causes of upper respiratory infections.”

The Bordetella vaccine is supposed to last up to six months but, according to Animal Planet, is only effective in about 70 percent of pets.

Discuss your pet’s immunization plan with your veterinarian to determine the best course of care.

Also Available In Other Formulations

Administering Nasal Bordetella Vaccine



  • IgA on mucosal surfaces appears to be more important than systemic responses when it comes to protecting against respiratory pathogens 18,19
  • Prevents microbes from adhering to mucosal surfaces of the nose and throat
  • Helps clear microbes trapped in mucus at the point of entry
  • Eliminated Bordetella shedding in controlled challenge 9 weeks after vaccination16
  • Significantly reduced cough scores and days of coughing16


    *Dant JC, Waszgis B, LaFleur RL, Xu Z, Tarpey I. Duration of Immunity for an Oral Bordetella Bronchiseptica Vaccine. ISCAID Proceedings, Portland, OR, 2018.

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    Alternatives To Combination Shots

    To avoid the combination shot, you have to take action and be willing to stand up to your vet . Most are reluctant to give up their cash cow. Heres what to do:

  • Test titers for parvovirus and distemper. If titers are positive, dont revaccinate. Forgo lepto, coronavirus, hepatitis, Lyme, Bordetella and everything else unless your dog has an urgent, proven need because of the special circumstances of his lifestyle.
  • Avoid clinics that subscribe to one size fits all vaccination even though all vet schools and organizations recommend otherwise.
  • If youre giving puppy shots, or vaccinating a young dog with low titers, ask your vet to use a monovalent vaccine . Also, use vials with only one dose to avoid the extra chemicals used to prevent contamination in multi-dose vials.
  • If your vet wont order monovalent shots , buy them yourself and have your vet give them. Refrigerate until use. Better yet, have them sent to your vet by the reseller. You may not be able to purchase just one vial, but the extra cost is worth saving your dog from potential adverse reactions and the vet can use the extras to help another savvy dog owner avoid combo shots.
  • Better still, find a holistic vet wholl know how to vaccinate, or not vaccinate, without harming your dog and already use monovalent vaccines.
  • Find a homeopathic vet and ask them how nosodes can protect your dog.
  • I asked holistic vet and homeopath Tamara Hebbler CiHom DVM what she thought about combo shots. She responded:

    Bordetella Vaccine: How Often Should It Be Given

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, here are some guidelines on how often the Bordetella vaccine or kennel cough vaccine should be given to your dog:

    • Puppies can be given the intranasal Bordetella vaccine as early as three weeks old a second follow-up dose should be given up to four weeks later
    • Puppies can be given the injectable Bordetella vaccine starting at six to eight weeks of age, and a booster at ten to twelve weeks
    • Kittens can be given the vaccine as early as eight weeks old
    • Dogs or puppies at least 16 weeks old can receive the intranasal vaccine once and the injectable vaccine twice
    • Cats or kittens at least 16 weeks old can be given a single dose of the intranasal vaccine with annual boosters
    • Dogs should receive the Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine every six months up to a year, depending on the level of exposure

    Also Check: When To Get Meningitis Vaccine

    How To Give A Canine Intranasal Bordetella Vaccine

    The intranasal canine Bordetella vaccine is a great alternative to the injectable canine Bordetella vaccine. It is given without the use of a needle and is viewed by many professionals as more effective.

    Remove the cap from the needle and inject a small amount of air into the sterile diluent.

    Draw back on the syringe to remove all of the sterile diluent.

    Inject the sterile diluent into the Bordetella vaccine vial and mix thoroughly.

    Draw back on the syringe again to remove the vaccination mixture from the vial. Be sure to remove as much of the vaccine as possible.

    Replace the cap on the needle and twist to remove the needle from the syringe.

    Place the spray cap onto the end of the syringe. Twist the spray cap to secure it into place.

    Hold your dog by the snout and spray equal amounts of the vaccine into each nostril.

    How Often Does Your Dog Need A Bordetella Vaccine

    Bordetella in Dogs

    According to Dr. Schwartz, the Bordetella vaccine for dogs consists of an initial vaccination as well as a booster to be administered every six months if needed.

    As far as any additional boosters, thats something to discuss with your vet, since it depends on how often your dog might be exposed to Bordetella.

    I think they still recommend that you do it every six months if your dog is a frequent flyer at boarding situations or dog groups, Dr. Schwartz said. It depends on the recommendations of the veterinarian in the area.

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    When Does Your Dog Need A Bordetella Vaccine

    You can get your dog vaccinated against Bordetella whenever you want, whether hes a puppy or an adult dog.

    The important thing is appropriately timing your dogs Bordetella vaccine with any plans that may require the vaccine, like being boarded or taking a trip to doggy daycare.

    We need at least three weeks between the first vaccine and the booster, Dr. Schwartz said. So, you need to take that into consideration if you’re planning on boarding your dog somewhere.

    Keep in mind that Bordetella is a non-core vaccine, so you should prioritize core vaccines distemper, adenovirus 2, parvovirus and rabies.

    I think it’s better to get the other vaccines out of the way, Dr. Schwartz said. Usually the first Bordetella is given in conjunction with the second or third round of distemper vaccines.

    How Long Does The Bordetella Vaccine Last

    The Bordetella vaccine is suggested annually and is thought to last around a year.

    In cases where a dog is living in a shelter, caretakers may elect to give a booster every six months due to the high risk of contracting kennel cough in those types of surroundings. Even groomers and boarding facilities may require more frequent boosters for enrollment in their services.

    Some studies have shown that immunities from vaccinations can last longer than we once thought, but how can you know for sure?

    Read Also: How Many People Have Been Vaccinated In United States

    Why Should I Get My Dog Vaccinated Against Bordetella

    You may recognize Bordetella, or kennel cough, as a commonly transmitted upper respiratory infection. And, just as likely if you’ve brought your dog to a daycare, boarding facility or group obedience classes, you will have heard the question “is your dog vaccinated against Kennel Cough?” Diseases like Bordetella, parvovirus, rabies hepatitis and more can cause serious symptoms and may even be fatal in dogs. Vaccines like the Bordetella vaccination, prevent these diseases from ever developing in your pup in the first place, preserving their health.

    Can A Dog Have A Reaction To The Bordetella Vaccine Side Effects And Other Facts About The Bordetella Shot

    Order Nobivac Intra Trac 3

    In today’s article, our Davidson County vets discuss the possible side effects of dog vaccinations for Bordetella and answer other frequently asked questions surrounding optional shots for dogs.

    Dogs who live very social lives are at an increased chance of catching Bordetella from their doggy daycare centers or from a visit to the local dog park and should be vaccinated against Bordetella to ensure they stay happy and healthy.

    For dogs who stay inside, pet owners should consult their veterinarian to learn more about the shot and see if the Bordetella vaccine is right for them.

    While the shot’s benefits greatly outweigh the risks, there are some side effects that can be alarming to unprepared dog owners.

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