Does Your Dog Need the Kennel Cough Vaccine?

Vaccinating your dog is a serious medical procedure with several significant potential risks. Many veterinarians, kennel owners and day care providers say your furry friend MUST be vaccinated against kennel cough, but exactly how likely is this vaccine to prevent kennel cough? Did you know Bordetella vaccine can even produce kennel cough-like symptoms? According to the WSAVA Guidelines, “Transient (3-10 days) coughing, sneezing or nasal discharge may occur in a small percentage of vaccinates.”

For the most part, if your veterinarian, kennel owner or day care provider practices good hygiene and has a well-ventilated space, kennel cough shouldn’t be a concern. Kennel cough is very comparable to a human cold – spread from an infected individual in close contact with another individual with compromised immunity. Like a human cold, kennel cough Is also considered a mild self-limiting disease.

If your boarding service provider is worried that your dog may contract kennel cough at their establishment, offer to sign a letter of consent acknowledging you’ve been informed of the risk. This will waive legal liability for the boarding provider which is likely their biggest concern. This is generally more of a liability issue than a significant health issue for your pet.

If your service provider is more concerned about the potential of other dogs at their establishment contracting kennel cough from your unvaccinated dog, then do they really believe the vaccinated dogs have immunity? If the Bordetella vaccine isn’t protective, why insist all dogs are vaccinated?

Dr. Ronald Schultz, world-renowned vaccination scientist, says, “Many animals receive ‘kennel cough’ vaccines that include Bordetella and CPI and/or CAV-2 every 6-9 months without evidence that this frequency of vaccination is necessary or beneficial. In contrast, other dogs are never vaccinated for kennel cough and disease is not seen.

CPI immunity lasts at least 3 years when given intranasally, and CAV-2 immunity lasts a minimum of 7 years parenterally for CAV-I. These two viruses in combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica are the agents most often associated with kennel cough. However, other factors also play an important role in disease (e.g. stress, dust, humidity, molds, myoplasma, etc.), thus kennel cough is not a vaccine preventable disease because of the complex factors associated with this disease. This is often a mild to moderate self-limiting disease. Some even refer to it as the ‘Canine Cold.’”

Ultimately, it is your decision whether you want to vaccinate your dog for kennel cough. If you do decide on the vaccine, we suggest you make sure it is the intranasal form that is given as nose drops, not the injected version. The vaccine should be administered at least a week before your dog has contact with other dogs – for the sake of both your dog and the others!

Want to learn more about The Barkery’s take on kennel cough vaccinations and more related issues? Give us a call or stop by the Barkery today to speak to one of our pet-loving experts!

 

Information for this story courtesy of Dogs Naturally Magazine.