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Oct. 29.2021
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What Is Bordetella in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Vaccine

What Is Bordetella in Dogs

Bordetella in dogs is a gram-negative aerobic coccobacterium. This bacterium is the main etiological factor of infectious canine tracheobronchitis or aviary cough. However, it can cause a number of other bacteria when combined with viruses. In dogs, it can lead to the most severe consequences, such as the development of pneumonia in puppies and young animals. The main route of infection is airborne from sick dogs, but infection through household items of dogs, cats, and their owners is possible. Let’s take a look at the features of this disease and possible treatment!

What Is Bordetella?

The development of bordetelliosis is based on the attachment of microorganisms to the ciliated epithelium of the respiratory apparatus. As a result, the natural cleansing of the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi is disrupted. This promotes increased bacterial growth in the respiratory tract. What is Bordetella in dogs? Dogs are most likely to experience this disease. Bordetella can last up to three weeks. When testing dogs to pinpoint the bacteria or virus strains that cause coughs in the kennel, other components such as parainfluenza viruses, reoviruses and adenoviruses are often found. Any dog ​​of any age can suffer from this cough, but it is common in dogs from shelters or places where multiple dogs constantly rotate (dog parks and groomers). Even passing dogs, when they greet, can inadvertently infect each other.

Signs of Bordetella in Dogs

The first symptoms of Bordetella may be a decrease in appetite and energy. In puppies under six months old, this can be very obvious. Among other common signs are:

  • Severe attacks of spontaneous or induced cough;
  • Body temperature;
  • Pathological nasal discharge;
  • Anorexia;
  • Enlargement of the submandibular lymph nodes;
  • The appearance of wheezing when listening to the lung.

The time from contact with Bordetella to the onset of active symptoms in dogs can range from 2 days to 2 weeks.

Signs of Bordetella in Dogs

Bordetella for Dogs: Causes

Dogs can become infected after coming into contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected pet. It may bark and release infectious particles into the air and inhale them in another pet. When inhaled, the bacteria bind to the fibers of the cilia on the lining of the respiratory tract and cause infection. Various factors can lead to an aggravation of the course of this pathology.

  • Early weaning;
  • Multiple infectious processes;
  • Abnormal development of trachea;
  • Inadequate nutrition.

Bordetella: Diagnosing, Treatment, and Prevention

Bordetella for Dogs Causes

The diagnosis is common, especially in puppies. During the physical examination, the dog’s body temperature would be measured and the sound of any liquid in the chest would be heard at the same time. To confirm the diagnosis, a nasal swab may be sent to a reference laboratory for PCR. In this process, the swab’s DNA is assessed to determine the specific genetic characteristics of the infection. For dogs with short heads or fuzzy facial contours, early treatment is cautious as these dogs are prone to respiratory complications due to their anatomy. If Bordetella is left untreated, the dog can develop pneumonia. Also, if you don’t do the Bordetella vaccine for dogs, the consequences can be harder. However, it usually can go away on its own without intervention, but upon examination, your veterinarian would prescribe an antibiotic, and antitussives to improve the dog’s comfort during recovery. To counteract dehydration, your veterinarian may inject fluids under the skin and may ask to add some warm water to food, because most pets would eat less if they cannot smell the food. In more severe cases, the dog may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous fluids and antibiotics, or oxygen therapy.

What Is the Bordetella Vaccine for Dogs?

The vaccine can prevent this disease. It is usually given as a nasal spray by a veterinarian, but not all dogs may need it. In general, healthy adult dogs that come in contact with many other pets should be vaccinated against Bordetella every year, and dogs in shelters may need to be boosted within the past six months. To reduce the risk to your pet, be sure to ask your veterinarian: “What is Bordetella vaccine, and should I shoot with it my pet”? Take care of yourself and your pets, and our Health section would help you with this!

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