Bordetella vaccine killed my dog Is Bordetella shot safe for dogs?

In order for your dog to develop immunity to a disease, he needs to be exposed to a virus or bacteria throughout his lifetime. Veterinary communities detest vaccines in general and the Bordetella vaccine in particular, but many still support its use.

Its tendency to cause side effects is a major reason for any opposition to the Bordetella vaccine. To help you decide whether or not you should get the Bordetella vaccine for dogs, we will discuss the side effects of the vaccine.

Both puppies and adults receive the Bordetella vaccine. The vaccine helps protect against the common illness known as kennel cough. Dogs easily contract kennel cough from each other, and it is extremely contagious. It is not usually life-threatening in healthy adult dogs. However, it can cause your dog to cough and have a runny nose and make them feel unwell.

The condition can, however, be life-threatening in puppies, older dogs, and dogs with health problems. Dogs can be injected with the vaccine under the skin or through their noses, depending on their behavior and what they can tolerate. You may wonder how often you need to give this vaccine if you are a new dog owner. The following information will help.

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The bordetella vaccine should be administered to puppies between the ages of six and eight weeks. Four weeks later, or between 10 and 12 weeks, another injectable booster should be administered.

It is recommended that if you purchase a puppy who has not yet received these injections, or you are uncertain, they will need only one injectable version of the vaccine once they reach 16 weeks of age if the initial doses were not administered. Since their immune system is stronger and healthier by this point, this is the case.

An Adult Dog

Bordetella boosters should be administered to adult dogs every six to twelve months, depending on the dog’s risk factors. The facility that boards your dog provides doggy daycare for your dog, or provides training for your dog will probably require that your dog have a booster every six months.

Maintaining your dog’s health and preventing other animals in the facility from catching germs is the best way to keep him healthy. Whenever you take your dog anywhere that may have multiple dogs, check with the facility to find out how often it requires a booster.

In addition, if your dog is going to places where other dogs often visit, such as dog parks, outdoor shopping centers, or restaurants that allow dogs, you are strongly advised to give him a bordetella booster every six months. Dogs that spend time around other dogs are more prone to catching kennel cough, so providing the vaccine frequently can help prevent it.

If your dog spends most of his time at home and only goes out on occasional walks, he has a low risk of catching kennel cough. Therefore, the booster only needs to be given every 12 months.

In spite of this, it is still beneficial to give your dog a booster even if the risk is low. If your dog is on a walk around your neighborhood and another dog has kennel cough, your dog can be exposed through fence lines.

Bordetella Vaccine Side Effects

In some cases, Bordetella vaccine side effects can be extremely difficult to handle. Following the administration of the nose drops, your dog may sneeze, followed by persistent coughing and nasal discharge lasting between three and ten days. Some dogs can also suffer from anaphylactic reactions to the drops.

Other dogs may suffer from nausea, swelling, and diarrhea. In fact, the vaccination may actually lead to the dog developing kennel cough, since it introduces a small amount of bacteria to them. This is quite rare, however.

There may also be soreness at the injection site (after the initial nasal drop, subsequent rounds of the vaccination require booster shots), loss of appetite, and general fatigue. It is worth calling your veterinarian if these symptoms persist more than a few days after your vaccination.

Is a Bordetella vaccine needed for my dog?

It is this question that explains why there is controversy surrounding the Bordetella vaccine. According to some, the vaccine is not necessary, since most cases of kennel cough are easily treated with simple cold medications, while others may go away on their own.

A dog that interacts with other dogs frequently at dog parks, in classes, in dog daycares, and at boarding facilities is most likely to be exposed to kennel cough and could benefit from vaccination. If you are unsure whether vaccination is necessary for your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian.

As early as three weeks of age, puppies can receive their first vaccination. Additional vaccinations can be given later.

Immunity: what is it?

The process of immunity is comprised of a number of defense mechanisms, by which a living being is able to resist disease or infection, or at least resist its harmful effects. White blood cells play a major role in these defenses.

An infectious disease organism (virus, bacteria, protozoa, fungus, etc.) has components called antigens, and each has its own antigens. 

When white blood cells are exposed to these antigens, antibodies are produced. As a result of these antibodies, the body is able to eliminate the organism. In the future, exposure to the same antigen will result in a much faster response.

When this rapid response occurs, the infection is usually stopped before it can cause serious illness. As immune memory fades over time, and sometimes fairly quickly, depending on the organism, immune memory can fade as well.

Immunity does not exist in an absolute sense. It is possible for the immune system to become overwhelmed when the animal is exposed to a particularly dangerous microorganism or when it is unduly stressed or immunosuppressed by yet another illness or medication.

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A Controversial Vaccine For Bordetella

Bordetella vaccine controversy primarily stems from the fact that many veterinarians do not think it is necessary, especially since the vaccine has a possibility of causing some side effects. A weakened immune system is one of these side effects. Even dogs who do not live in situations that are considered “high risk,” such as multi-night boarding or training classes, typically receive the Bordetella vaccine.

Kennel cough is sometimes considered a common cold for dogs, caused more by environmental elements than Bordetella. Although the vaccine cannot prevent kennel cough, it can prevent certain respiratory infections.

Ultimately, it is up to the owner to decide whether or not the potential risks outweigh the risk of contracting kennel cough.

When vaccinating small breed dogs, should a smaller dose of parenteral vaccine be given?

According to the manufacturer, the recommended volume represents the minimum immunizing dose; therefore, the full dose should always be administered. Vaccines whose volume is arbitrarily reduced may have a less protective immune response. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that lowering the dose/volume of a vaccine will prevent an adverse reaction.

It may be illegal in some states and localities to administer reduced dose volumes of rabies vaccines that are not authorized by the manufacturer.

Booster vaccines should be administered to dogs with a history of severe adverse reactions after vaccination (angioedema, anaphylaxis, etc.)?

An animals’ health status, vaccination history, immune status (antibody testing), exposure risk, as well as the number of vaccines considered necessary at the time of the appointment should all be considered in determining whether to revaccinate the animal.

When a dog has a history of a mild, acute post-vaccination reaction (e.g., facial swelling), it is often treated with a single dose of diphenhydramine prior to vaccination (although this practice has not been definitively proven to be effective); dogs who have a mild post-vaccination reaction should be treated with a single dose of corticosteroid that will reduce inflammation; dogs that have a severe post-vaccination reaction should be treated with steroids.

The patient should not be revaccinated unless deemed necessary and at least several hours afterward if he has previously experienced an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine.

 An inactivated (killed) vaccine’s acute adverse reaction risk persists for a long period of time or does it wear off quickly?

It is difficult to predict how long immune memory will persist after acute hypersensitivity (type 1). As children age, they are generally less likely to experience type 1 hypersensitivity reactions after vaccination (e.g., angioedema). We do not know whether dogs experience this consistently.

After the administration of a subsequent vaccine to dogs that developed a mild, type 1 hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., anaphylactic shock), these dogs should be monitored closely. The presence of antibodies (canine distemper virus, parvovirus, or adenovirus-2) may be tested to determine whether a subsequent vaccine is needed.

The vaccine is administered via injection.

The immune system is stimulated to its maximum capacity with some vaccines administered locally, such as in the nose, but most vaccines require injection. In some vaccines, the injection occurs subcutaneously, while in others, the injection takes place intramuscularly or in the muscles.

Which vaccines are necessary for dogs?

You may be more or less likely to contract some infections based on your location. There are several types of vaccines available, including rabies, distemper, adenovirus (infectious canine hepatitis), parvovirus, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, coronavirus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Lyme disease, Among the other diseases are rabies, distemper, infectious hepatitis (Adenovirus), parvovirus, leptospirosis, kennel cough, Lyme disease, and canine influenza (for detailed information on these diseases, see individual handouts “Rabies in Dogs”, “Distemper in Dogs”, “Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus) in Dogs”, “Leptospirosis in Dogs”, and “Canine Rabies” can often be purchased in a combination and given as one dose.

Vaccination combination products are convenient and help you avoid giving your dog additional injections. If you have a dog with a specific lifestyle and relative risk factors, your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate vaccines.

AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force recommends the following vaccines for all puppies and dogs: canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus-2 (hepatitis), canine parvovirus, and rabies virus.

Non-core vaccines, which can be recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force for puppies and dogs in special circumstances, based on exposure risk to an individual dog: Borrelia burgdorferi or Lyme disease,  Leptospira species, canine parainfluenza virus,  Bordetella bronchiseptica or kennel cough, canine influenza.

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If your dog has a history of an adverse reaction post-vaccination (such as immunomediated hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia), should you give a booster?

It is generally not recommended to do so. Patients with a history of immune-mediated disease (e.g., hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia) should avoid booster doses of the vaccine whenever possible.

It has been suggested that doing so could reactivate the disease. An assessment of protective immune status in at-risk dogs can be done by testing for antibodies (canine distemper virus, parvovirus and adenovirus-2).

Do vaccines cause immune-mediated diseases?

From an immunological standpoint, it is possible. The association between vaccination and immune-mediated diseases in dogs has been anecdotally described, but definitive studies that demonstrate a clear cause-and-effect relationship have not been conducted.

Immune-mediated diseases have been known to occur following vaccination in humans (including Guillain-Barré syndrome and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy [CIDP]).

In veterinary medicine, the relationship between vaccine-associated immune-mediated illness and vaccination has been related (although not definitively proven) to adjuvants within inactivated (killed) vaccines.14,87,89,97 There have also been suggestions that in cats and dogs vaccine administration may result in the re-activation of previously recovered immune-mediated illnesses.

If possible, it may be prudent to forgo booster vaccinations for these dogs and instead perform antibody testing instead.

If the Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is administered by intramuscular or intramuscular routes, what are the consequences?

Live, avirulent Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria are contained in the intranasal and oral Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines. Therefore, these vaccines should be administered according to the product’s labeling. B. The Bronchuseptica vaccine that is approved for parenteral administration is inactivated, incapable of replication post-administration, and must therefore be administered via injection.

Intranasal administration of B. bronchiseptica vaccine administered parenterally (subcutaneously) has been reported to cause cellulitis and abscess formation at the injection site (rarely). There have been deaths associated with bacterial replication, bacteremia, the release of hepatotoxic proteins, and hepatic necrosis.72,100,101,103

If a dog inadvertently receives an oral or intranasal Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine administered parenterally, he may require at least a 5-day treatment with an appropriate antibiotic (such as doxycycline).

Can a dog that is receiving antibiotic therapy be given an oral or intranasal vaccine containing Bordetella Bronchiseptica?

This is not recommended. Since B. bronchiseptica vaccines administered onto mucosal surfaces (oral and intranasal) contain live (attenuated) bacteria, vaccination of a dog that is concurrently receiving antibiotic therapy may result in the inactivation of the live bacteria. This could result in a reduced or no immune response to the vaccine.

Is it possible that a vaccination administered to a puppy will deplete Maternally Derived Antibody (MDA), thereby making the dog susceptible to infection?

When MDA is present in the vaccine, the effect can be adverse, but it will not deplete passive immunity (maternal) or alter it much.

Can nosodes (holistic preparations) prevent infectious diseases in dogs?

A measurable degree of prevention against a vaccine-preventable disease in dogs has never been shown to be provided by nosodes (even in challenging studies). They cannot immunize because they lack sufficient amounts of antigen necessary to develop cellular or humoral immunity.

Can certain breeds be vaccinated and still develop immunity?

Although rare, “genetic non-responders” have been documented among dogs in several countries (most notably among Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers in the United States during the 1980s who failed to develop protective canine parvovirus antibodies following appropriate administrations of core vaccines).

In today’s general canine population, there are still some dogs who do not respond to the parvovirus vaccine. There are studies suggesting that up to one in 1000 dogs (mostly purebred dogs) are genetically incapable of responding to the parvovirus antigen, and are therefore susceptible to the consequences of infection.

It has been reported that young, well-vaccinated Pit bull terriers have been diagnosed with fulminant parvovirus infection in the United States, despite a history of excellent vaccinations.

There is no vaccine that is considered 100% effective for 100% of its recipients. Thus, there is a possibility of undocumented failure to respond to vaccination following vaccination against diseases other than canine parvovirus.

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How safe is the Bordetella vaccine for older dogs?

In some cases, kennel cough may last for several weeks even though it is generally a mild disease. This highly contagious illness can be prevented by the Bordetella vaccine, which is very safe.

Is the Bordetella vaccine safe for dogs?

Does the Bordetella vaccine cause severe allergic reactions in dogs? Rarely, dogs can respond anaphylactically to vaccinations. Swelling of the face, hives, vomiting, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, and itchiness are symptoms of this severe allergic reaction in dogs.

Are dogs unwell after getting the kennel cough vaccine?

For a few days following vaccination, some dogs may cough, sneeze, or have discharge from the eyes or nose. These signs may persist for a longer period of time. There are very few other possible side effects.

What is causing my dog to cough and gag like he’s choking?

Infectious problems and laryngeal paralysis are two very common causes of dog gagging. Kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that causes dogs to gag, which results in a harsh, goose-like cough, which is sometimes followed by gagging.

Do dog vaccines have side effects?

It is common for pets to experience lethargy, a slight fever, and some mild discomfort after receiving vaccines. They may not behave as usual after receiving vaccines.  It is a normal reaction to vaccinations, and the symptoms should last for one to two days.

Is the Bordetella vaccine the same as the kennel cough vaccine?

Despite Bordetella being most commonly associated with kennel cough, other bacteria and viruses are also capable of causing it. The term kennel cough refers to a wide range of contagious respiratory diseases that affect dogs.

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In summary

The side effects are not very serious, but they can be unpleasant for your pet, and since many would argue that the vaccination is not necessary, it will be up to you and your veterinarian to decide whether or not it would be a good idea for your pet.

You need to consider a number of factors, such as how much time the dog will spend with other dogs, especially in situations where the dog will spend the night in a kennel.


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