Bordetella is a common infectious respiratory disease among dogs that spend time in community settings. Today, our Hoquiam vets discuss how bordetella in dogs is diagnosed as well as the possible symptoms and treatment for this infectious disease.
What is Bordetella in Dogs?
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that commonly causes respiratory disease in dogs. It is the bordetella bacterium along with other pathogens which cause canine infectious respiratory complex, also known as kennel cough, upper respiratory infection, or infectious tracheobronchitis.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a respiratory disease that attacks the lining of the dog's respiratory tract and can also possibly cause inflammation and irritation in your dog's upper airway. Typically a dog with a healthy immune system will be able to naturally fight this infection but dogs who are sick, very young or very old, or have weakened immune systems may suffer irreversible damage or even death due to this disease.
Bordetella is highly contagious and spreads most commonly and quickly in areas where your dog will be in close contact with other dogs, such as kennels, dog parks, and multi-dog homes. Bordetella is spread when an infected dog coughs and the infection is carried in the saliva onto other pets or surfaces that other pets may come into direct contact with the saliva.
Bordetella Symptoms in Dogs
The primary symptom of Bordetella is usually a non-productive but frequent dry cough that may sound as though your dog is choking on something. Some of the other most common symptoms of bordetella in dogs might be a runny nose, sneezing, lack of energy, decreased appetite and mild fever.
As bordetella is very contagious, the first step if your dog begins to show symptoms will be to isolate your dog and avoid any contact with other dogs or pets. As long as your dog is healthy, and their symptoms are mild overall your vet might suggest continuing to isolate your dog while monitoring their symptoms until they have recovered.
If your dog is experiencing more severe symptoms then your vet might recommend having your dog in for a full examination.
How Vets Diagnose Bordetella
As there are many conditions that have similar signs and symptoms it can be a difficult process to diagnose bordetella in dogs. Because coughing is the most common symptom and can also be a sign of other illnesses such as canine distemper virus or canine influenza virus, your vet will utilize the process of elimination and could possibly examine your dog for signs of a number of other possible conditions or illnesses.
Your vet will diagnose whether kennel cough is the cause of your pup's symptoms utilizing the results of your dog's examination and any information available in their medical history.
Treatment for Bordetella in Dogs
Healthy adult dogs typically do not require medical intervention for Bordetella. Your dog will be isolated and the disease will be allowed to run its course.
If the disease is having a more severe effect on your dog then your vet may want to investigate further as well as prescribe medications to provide cough relief.
Your dog will benefit from the avoidance of anything that may constrict their neck during the recovery process as well as ensuring adequate humidity levels in the home.
Recovery typically only takes a week or two and if you find that it is taking longer or your dog's symptoms are worsening then it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment to have your dog examined.
How To Protect Your Dog Against Bordetella
Bordetella is highly contagious and your dog is at risk if they frequent any dog parks, boarding facilities, dog daycare, or training facilities. Typically, these facilities require proof of the Bordetella vaccination for any dog before visiting.
The bordetella vaccine is the best protection for your dog against this entirely preventable infectious disease.
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.