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Can a Dog Have a Reaction to the Bordetella Vaccine?

Can a Dog Have a Reaction to the Bordetella Vaccine?

Most dogs are social and spend at least some of their time in social environments, whether it is at the dog park, groomers or at doggie daycare. Today, our Little Elm vets discuss the importance of having your dog vaccinated and if your dog can have a reaction to the bordetella vaccine.

Bordetella is a common and contagious disease among dogs that frequently have social interactions. For dogs that visit the dog park, groomers or doggie daycare on a regular basis then you should consider protecting them with the bordetella vaccine.

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. 

Is It Important To Have My Dog Vaccinated Against Bordetella?

While the Bordetella vaccine is an optional vaccination, rather than a core vaccination, many doggy daycares, dog parks, or obedience classes will require your dog to be vaccinated against kennel cough to take part. 

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

If you intend to enroll your dog in any kind of program outside the home or to be a regular at your local dog park, you should ask your vet about the Bordetella shot for your dog.

The vaccine greatly reduces the chance of Bordetella in dogs. Furthermore, while not 100% effective in preventing infection, the vaccine is guaranteed to decrease the likelihood of serious symptoms or life-threatening complications should a dog vaccinated against Bordetella contract an infection. 

When is it recommended to have my dog vaccinated against bordetella?

Your veterinarian will recommend a Bordetella booster shot every six-to-twelve months based on your pet's risk of exposure to Bordetella. 

This vaccination comes in two forms, an intranasal spray that your vet will administer to 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.  

Are there any potential side effects of the bordetella vaccine?

Just like vaccinations in people, mild adverse reactions are not only possible but are expected as a result of vaccination. Reactions are generally mild and short-lived, so while it can be stressful to see your dog suffering from side effects, it's important to remember that they are healthier and safer for it.

Being prepared to care for your pup post-vaccine will make the process less stressful for both you and your dog. Below is a list of the most common side effects dogs can experience from the Bordetella vaccination.

  • Lethargy
    • The most common reaction a dog will have to receive 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
    • If your dog receives the injectable form of the Bordetella vaccine, lumps and bumps can occur around the injection site. A small, firm bump may develop, as well as some tenderness and stiffness in the area. Most likely these bumps are just the result of skin irritation, however, any time that the skin is punctured there is a possibility of infection. Be sure to keep an eye on the site where the injection was given. Look for signs of swelling, redness, discharge, and pain. If left untreated, infected areas may lead to more serious conditions. 
  • Sneezing & Cold-Like Symptoms
    • If your dog received their Bordetella vaccine as a nasal spray, then it is common and ordinary 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 to do if my dog has started to cough after receiving the bordetella vaccine?

As a general rule, reactions to the vaccine are mild and short-lived.  If your dog demonstrates any of the above symptoms, including a persistent cough, for more than a day or two you should contact your vet to seek additional medical care. In rare extreme cases, a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine may require medical intervention.

Can a Dog Have a Reaction to the Bordetella Vaccine?

In extremely rare cases dogs can have an anaphylactic response to vaccination. This is a severe allergic reaction characterized by swelling in the face, hives, vomiting, issues breathing, diarrhea, and itchiness in your dog. This reaction typically occurs within a few minutes or hours of your dog receiving the vaccine but it can occur as late as forty-eight hours following vaccination. If your dog is showing any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis 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.

If your dog is in need of the bordetella vaccine or any other preventive care services, contact our Little Elm vets today to book a consultation.

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