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Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: October 19, 2016
Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

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Did you know that your dog is susceptible to contracting diseases caused by various pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi?

The condition of your dog's immune system is closely linked to the onset of these diseases, and therefore puppies and immunodeficient dogs are more susceptible to suffering them. On the other hand, healthy adult dogs have a more competent and effective immune system.

Even if your dog is healthy and you always provide the best care you should always be alert: The action of these pathogens sometimes overcomes the mechanisms of the immune system. In this AnimalWised article we will tell you about the symptoms and treatment of Bordetella in dogs, a dangerous bacteria.

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What is Bordetella?

The term Bordetella refers to a genus of three pathogenic bacteria thatcan affect humans and other animals, such as sheep:

  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Bordetella parapertussis
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica

Despite affecting humans only rarely, Bordetella bronchiseptica causes common diseases in dogs. Infection by these bacteria is manifested through the disease known as kennel cough. Besides B. bronchiseptica, kennel cough can also be cause by canine parainfluenza virus and canine coronavirus.

Bordetella are highly contagious bacteria, and they are transmitted by direct contact or through the air, causing outbreaks in places where dogs live crowded together, such as shelters or kennels - hence the popular name for the disease caused by B. bronchiseptica.

In a healthy dog, Bordetella can simply manifest itself as a cough. However, the disease caused by these bacteria can be fatal for puppies.

Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment - What is Bordetella?

Symptoms of Bordetella infection in dogs

Bordetella bacteria cause canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is the medical term for kennel cough.

When a dog is infected by this pathogen, symptoms that mainly affect the respiratory system arise. A sick dog might present the following signs:

  • Persistent cough
  • Retching, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Expectoration of respiratory secretions

You should be alerted by the presence of one or more of these symptoms. If it happens, you should ensure that the affected dog gets veterinary assistance as soon as possible. It's equally important for the affected dog to be kept away from others, as otherwise the bacteria could spread very easily.

Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment - Symptoms of Bordetella infection in dogs

Treatment of Bordetella in dogs

The dog should remain isolated during this treatment. This treatment will be carried out through the use of antibiotic drugs to combat bacterial colonization, and antiinflammatory drugs to reduce the inflammation of respiratory tract tissues.

Proper hydration and nutrition are also essential factors in ensuring that the treatment of Bordetella is effective and that the dog can recover without any problems.

Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment - Treatment of Bordetella in dogs

Bordetella vaccine

A puppy can be vaccinated against Bordetella from 3 weeks old, even though the distribution of this vaccine is not as widespread as others and it can be hard to come by in some areas. The vaccine can be administered subcutaneously or nasally. The vet will give you advice on the best option for your dog.

This vaccine is renewed annually or semiannually in the case of some adult dogs, and not all dogs need it. It is particularly advisable when your dog is going to live with many other dogs.

Here you can learn more about the vaccination schedule for dogs and puppies.

Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment - Bordetella vaccine

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Bordetella in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Bacterial diseases category.

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