Here, our vets in Lafayette share the potential side effects dogs can develop after receiving the Bordetella vaccine, and the importance of vaccinating your dog.
If your beloved pup has a very social lifestyle they are at a higher risk of catching bordetella (also called kennel cough) from their doggy daycare or at the dog park and should receive the Bordetella vaccine to help prevent it.
On the other hand, if your dog spends most of its days inside you should ask your vet if they recommend the Bordetella vaccination for your dog.
While the benefits of the bordetella shot greatly outweigh the risks of side effects, there are still a handful of reactions that could alarm unprepared dog owners.
Why Vaccinate Your Dog Against Bordetella
Even though the Bordetella vaccination is optional, and not a core vaccination, lots of obedience classes, dog parks, and doggy daycares will require your dog to be vaccinated against kennel cough to participate.
Simple respiratory infections can easily evolve into dangerous and life-threatening conditions, so 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.
How Often Dogs Need the Bordetella Shot
Depending on what your dog's exposure risk is to bordetella your vet will recommend the bordetella booster shot for your pooch every six-to-twelve months.
There are two forms of this vaccination available, an injection and an intranasal spray that your vet will administer to your dog's nose. Both of these methods 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.
The Side Effects of the Bordetella Vaccine in Dogs
Just like vaccinations in people, mild adverse reactions are not only possible but to be 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.
- 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 pooch has been given the Bordetella vaccine through an injection, they may develop bumps and lumps around their injection site. A small, firm bump could arise, in addition to a bit of tenderness and stiffness around the location. These bumps are most likely the result of skin irritation, but any time your dog's skin receives a puncture there is the potential for infection. You need to monitor the injection site, watching for signs of redness, swelling, pain, and discharge. If infections go untreated they could result in more serious problems.
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.
If Your Dog is Coughing After the Bordetella Vaccination
Generally, vaccination reactions are mild and short in duration. If your dog exhibits any of the side effects detailed above, including a persistent cough for more than one or two days, contact your veterinarian to get medical care for your pooch. In rare extreme situations, dogs can develop a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine that needs immediate veterinary care.
Potential Allergic Reactions to the Bordetella Vaccine
In very rare cases dogs can have an anaphylactic response to the Bordetella vaccination. This is a severe allergic reaction in dogs characterized by swelling in the face, hives, vomiting, issues breathing, diarrhea, and itchiness. 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.