Whenever you place your pet in the company of other animals (such as a boarding facility or day care centre), it is necessary to ensure he is protected. The Bordetella vaccine for dogs and cats is an important preventative measure which will stop your pet from becoming stricken with a highly contagious bacterial illness that can spread quickly between animals. It is important to note that this illness can also be transmitted to humans so be very careful when in the presence of numerous domestic animals as one of them may have this condition.
What is Bordetella?
The full name of this bacterial illness is Bordetella bronchoseptica and is affects cats and dogs. It is often referred to as ‘kennel cough’ when it affects dogs and while it is not necessarily life-threatening; it can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia if left untreated. What happens is that the bacterial organisms become attached to a pet’s respiratory cells and essentially paralyzes them.
Infected pets end up with a very harsh sounding cough and it sounds as if something is caught in their throat. Cats affected by Bordetella sneeze frequently and emit a large amount of nasal discharge. Once your pet is infected, it takes anywhere from two days to two weeks for the symptoms to manifest themselves and the condition will last for a minimum of four days and perhaps for as long as three weeks.
The Bordetella vaccine for both dogs and cats exposes your pet to a nonpathogenic version of the bacteria. Your pet’s immune system recognizes the virus and can fight against it in the future. Your pet’s body will develop antibodies to fight off the new threat. As most dogs develop the condition through their nose, a nasal vaccine is usually applied. The Bordetella vaccine lasts for approximately 6 months but there is a 30% chance it will not work for your pet.
If you have a puppy, it can be injected with the vaccine once it reaches 6 weeks whereas kittens will not be suited to the injection until they are 2 months old. Experts recommend giving the injection to dogs every 6-12 months to fight exposure. If your pet is currently sick or pregnant, most veterinarians will not apply the vaccine. Additionally, your pet may not benefit if it has a compromised immune system. However, if you have a pet that is currently healthy and would like to keep him that way, start looking into the Bordetella vaccine today.
See also: What You Should Know about Distemper
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