View Full Version : Kennel Cough Vaccination

Joanne M
28th November 2006, 10:16 PM
Do you all have your cavs vaccinated for Kennel Cough? At Tucker's first Vet Visit after I first got him, I had him vaccinated for Kennel Cough. At his first annual physical in Sept I decided not to, as he is rarely around other dogs, (other than the 2 yorkies who live next door and a chain link fence separates Tucker from them) I do not take him to the Groomer, so he spends no time in kennels, the groomer has a mobile unit that comes to my house, it's a van equipped with everything including a generator. Now that I have all you people with experience that I can ask, is it important for Tucker to receive this vaccination?

Cathy Moon
29th November 2006, 02:00 AM
I keep my 3 vaccinated because they go to the kennel, training, pet supply stores, etc.

What is your vet's opinion? Will you ever have to put Tucker in a kennel in an emergency situation?

Joanne M
29th November 2006, 02:16 AM
The Vet agreed with my rationale, why vaccinate him for something he'll never be exposed to. But I'm wondering, how much prolonged exposure would Tucker need? I don't really understand how the disease is spread, is it an airborne thing. Could it be spread through a brief contact?

29th November 2006, 08:12 AM
Zack has never been vaccinated for bordatella (the kennel cough vaccination). He goes for nightly walks in the neighborhood, occasinally goes to well populated dog parks, has been to the groomer once and has been to the vet on several occasions.

When i first got Zack, he had not been vaccinated for Bordatella. The woman i got him from said it has seemed to her that the vaccine often caused her dogs to get kennel cough so she didn't have it done. I started off just assuming i'd have to have it done. I took Zack to the vet two days after i got him, for a check up and because he had bloody diarrhea. The vet suggested a bordatella vaccination along with the last of the puppy distemper/parvo vaccinations, but because she didn't know what was causing the bloody diarrhea, instinctively i thought it would be best not to give vaccinations at that time, until his diarrhea cleared up and he was finished with the medication she gave him for that.

Soon after that, i was researching dog stuff on the net and ran across the
Beyond Vaccinations website and email list. the list is mostly dog owners. They discuss diverse things, not just vax, and the opinions about vax are diverse, ranging from no vax ever people to people who do minimal vax to people who are just trying to learn. That's where i first heard that, except in young puppies, bordatella/kennel cough is usually not a serious disease but is similar to colds and flu in people, self limiting, it runs its course and the dog recovers, while the vaccine has certain risks like any vaccine, and when i checked into that claim, about it not being a serious disease usually except in young puppies, i found it's not just a fringe opinion but widely held by mainstream people. Young puppies are at risk and shoud not be exposed to situations like kennels and groomer and dog parks, just as human babies should not be carried around in public places and exposed to pathogens when they are newborns and very young. Human babies can get seriously ill and even die from the flu, while older children and adults just live through it without complications and it's not a big deal. This is how kennel cough is, apparently.

I believe the recommendation is, if your dog is going to be exposed, like if you will have to leave it in a kennel, then you may optionally choose to give the vaccination 5 or more days before exposure, to get the best immune response. the vaccine will not prevent illness but will minimize symptoms and prevent anything more than a mild disease. But if you don't immunize, the dog still may not get sick whether because exposure doesn't occur, or the dog just isn't susceptable. Or the dog may get sick, but if healthy and not too young, likely will only be symptomatic for a couple of weeks and during that time, will probably feel well and act happy but probably will have a terrible sounding cough and might benefit from cough syrup and antibiotics.

The bordatella vaccine is known to only be effective for 6 to 10 months, so the practice of once a year vaccination is not often enough for people who feel it's best to immunize their dogs--if they know there will be an exposure, the recommendation is that they not wait a whole year to have a booster.

I am relating these claims from the American Animal Hospital Association 2003 vaccination recommendations, they are mainstream and assume a leadership role in the US veterinary profession. I am putting some relevant excerpts below along with a link to the whole report, which i have found and am continuing to find, very eye opening and surprising, against the background of earlier beliefs i've had about vaccination. I've just been digesting it a little at a time, there's a lot of info in it.


Optional or “noncore” vaccines are those that the com-mittee believes should be considered only in special cir-cumstances because their use is more dependent on the exposure risk of the individual animal. Issues of geographic distribution and lifestyle should be considered before administering these vaccines. In addition, the diseases involved are generally self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. The committee believes this group of vaccines comprises distemper-measles virus (D-MV), canine parain-fluenza virus (CPIV), Leptospira spp., Bordetella bronchi-septica, and Borrelia burgdorferi.

Bordetella bronchiseptica (B. bronchiseptica): Bordetella bronchiseptica is another cause of the “kennel cough” syn-drome. Infection in some susceptible dogs generally causes a self-limiting, upper respiratory disease and rarely causes life-threatening disease in otherwise healthy animals. Clini-cal disease resolves quickly when treated with appropriate antibiotics. Vaccination does not block infection but appears to lessen clinical disease, and vaccines provide a short DOI (<1 year) [Table 2]. It is also unknown whether current vac-cine strains protect against all field strains. Animals consid-ered to be at risk may benefit from vaccination followed by boosters at intervals in line with their risk of exposure [Table 1].

Joanne M
29th November 2006, 12:43 PM
Thank you. That is excellent information. I am opposed to administering vaccines or any drug that is not needed and potentially harmful.

I'll be calling my vet today. Although unrelated to kennel cough. Tucker is sick. Last week it was diahrrea, which was resolved. This morning I woke up to the sound of him gagging, bright yellow bile followed. Vet opens in 25 mins, I'll be on the phone.

29th November 2006, 01:32 PM
Most vets only have you give kennel cough vaccine before you know they will be potentially exposed to the virus -- which means, just in advance of boarding with other dogs. It IS highly contagious and can be serious (eg turn into pneumonia and be life-threatening and very expensive to treat then) -- and most kennels will not accept unvaccinated dogs. But the vax only lasts around 6 months so there's no point in doing this regularly unless you have dogs that are constantly at risk of exposure. That generally means in and out of kennel situations.