Bordetella: All You Need to Know

By December 20 | See Comments

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Bordetella is a term used to refer to 3 pathogenic bacteria that affect animals and humans. The 3 pathogenic bacteria are Bordetella Pertussis, Bordetella Parapertussis, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica. Humans are rarely affected by this pathogen.

However, the same cannot be said for dogs. The bacterium Bordetella Bronchiseptica is known to cause diseases frequently in canines. More specifically, a Bordetella Bronchiseptica infection in canines leads to a disease called “kennel cough”, which is also caused by a viral pathogen known as canine parainfluenza.

An Introduction
The bacterium is highly contagious in nature. Needless to say, transmission occurs through direct contact and interaction. The bacterium is airborne as well, which means transmission by air is also a strong possibility.

The reason the disease caused by the bacterium is called kennel cough is because it is very commonly diagnosed in dogs that share a kennel. For example, dogs in shelters and race track dog sheds tend to be very susceptible to kennel cough.

Now, Bordetella Bronchiseptica isn’t much of a threat to adult dogs. The coughing is the only issues and it subsides in a matter of days with treatment. However, if the bacterium were to infect puppies, things can turn out to be very dangerous.

Your dog is at risk of catching the infection when it spends too much time within a closed space with other dogs. Facilities that have poor ventilation also boost the possibility of a dog contracting Bordetella Bronchiseptica-induced kennel cough.

It is also possible for your dog to pick up the infection from a boarding facility or even the veterinarian’s clinic/office. In fact, these are two of the most common locations where exposure to Bordetella Bronchiseptica is very high.

This is exactly why many boarding locations demand proof of vaccination before allowing dogs to spend the night. So, make sure you get a Bordetella Bronchiseptica vaccination done to keep your dog safe and to gain entry into a boarding facility without trouble.

The same rule applies to vet offices as well. Your dog needs to be vaccinated against Bordetella Bronchiseptica to be allowed to stay overnight at the vet office.

How is the Infection Caused?

Dogs, like humans, have a respiratory system that fights against infectious agents and foreign bodies. One of the components that aid this is called the mucociliary escalator.

There are hair-like structures called cilia that are present on the cells of the respiratory system. These structures scrub out the debris that comes into the mucous layer, where it gets coughed up and expelled. However, if the escalator malfunctions, the infected debris can end up travelling all the way to the throat and down to the lungs (via the airway).

Treatment and Prevention
If your dog already has kennel cough, your vet will prescribe medication and various solutions to ease symptoms. However, if your dog isn’t infected, you can get him/her vaccinated right away. Also, don’t let your dog stay in the kennel for too long and make sure you keep it clean.

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