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Can Dogs Develop Reactions to the Bordetella Vaccine?

Can Dogs Develop Reactions to the Bordetella Vaccine?

Here, our Houston County vets talk about the side effects dogs could potentially develop after receiving their Bordetella vaccinations and answer other questions you may have about these shots.

If your dog has a very social lifestyle they are at a higher risk of getting Bordetella (also known as kennel cough) from their visit to the dog park or at their doggy daycare and should be given the Bordetella vaccine, to help protect them from this highly contagious illness.

If your pooch spends most of their time indoors, we recommend asking your vet about this shot to find out if the bordetella vaccine is right for your dog.

While the benefits your dog gets from these shots greatly outweigh any potential risks there are several side effects that could be concerning for dog owners that are unprepared.

Why Vaccinate Your Dog Against Bordetella

Even though the Bordetella vaccine is an optional vaccine and not a core vaccination, lots of kennels, dog parks, doggy daycares, and obedience classes will require all dogs to receive this vaccination in order to participate.

Simple respiratory infections can result in dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions, so in order to protect your dog and the dogs with whom they frequently socialize, it's best to add the Bordetella shot to their preventative care plan.

If you want to sign your dog up for any type of program outside the safety of your home or if you want to take your pup for regular visits at the local dog park we highly suggest talking to your vet about getting this vaccination for your pooch.

The vaccine greatly reduces your dog's risk of getting Bordetella. And on top of this, while not 100% effective in preventing the illness, the vaccine is guaranteed to lower the possibility of serious symptoms or life-threatening complications if your vaccinated dog does happen to contract the Bordetella infection.

How often do dogs require a Bordetella shot?

Your vet will recommend bringing your dog back in every six to twelve months so they can get the Bordetella booster shot, the specific frequency depends on your dog's level of risk of being exposed to Bordetella.

This vaccination is available in two forms, an intranasal spray that your vet will administer in your dog's nose, and an injection. Both are comparably effective. The injectable Bordetella vaccine isn't suitable for dogs younger than 8 weeks, but the nasal spray version can be administered to dogs as young as 6 weeks old.

What side effects can dogs get from the Bordetella vaccine and how long do they last?

As with human vaccinations, mild adverse reactions aren't just possible but should be expected after receiving this vaccination. Usually, these reactions are mild and short in duration, so while it may be worrying and unnerving to see your pup suffering from side effects, you need to understand that they are safer and healthier for it.

If you are prepared for the potential side effects your dog may develop after their vaccination, the process will be less stressful for both you and your canine companion. Here, we have shared a list of the side effects that are most common in dogs who have gotten the Bordetella vaccination.

  • Lethargy
    • The most common reaction a dog will have to the Bordetella vaccine is a feeling of malaise, lethargy, or discomfort, often accompanied by a very mild fever. This reaction arises as a side effect of the dog's immune system working to respond to the vaccine appropriately. These symptoms are quite normal and should only last one or two days.
  • Lumps & Bumps
    • Was your dog given the Bordetella vaccine through an injection? If so, they may develop lumps and bumps near the site of injection. A small, firm bump could form, in addition to a bit of tenderness and stiffness in the location. Most of the time these bumps are caused by skin irritation, but, any time your dog's skin is punctured there is a chance of infection. You need to monitor the injection site to watch for signs of pain, discharge, redness, and swelling. If the infection goes without treatment the infected areas could result in more serious conditions.
  • Cold Like Symptoms & Sneezing
    • If your dog received their Bordetella vaccine as a nasal spray, it is common for symptoms of a cold to present themselves. Adverse reactions to nasal spray Bordetella vaccination include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Most dogs recover from these symptoms within a day or two.

What can I do if my dog is coughing after getting the Bordetella vaccine?

Generally, the reactions to this vaccine are short-lived and mild. If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, including a persistent cough, and they last longer than one or two days you should call your vet so they can provide medical care. In rare extreme cases, a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine may require medical intervention.

Can dogs have allergic reactions to the Bordetella vaccine?

In extremely rare cases dogs can have an anaphylactic response to their vaccination. This is a severe allergic reaction characterized by swelling in the face, hives, vomiting, issues breathing, diarrhea, and itchiness. Generally, this reaction arises a few minutes or hours after your dog has been provided with their vaccine, however, it can occur up to forty-eight hours after the vaccination. If your dog is showing any anaphylaxis symptoms after receiving the Bordetella vaccine, contact your emergency veterinarian as soon as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Houston County vets today to schedule an appointment for your dog's vaccinations.

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