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Adverse Reactions to the Bordetella Vaccine in Dogs

By Adrienne Farricelli | Updated September 26, 2017

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Beverly

Dogs that are often exposed to other dogs and young puppies should be vaccinated against Bordetella, a respiratory condition commonly known as ''kennel cough' and' medically referred to as tracheobronchitis.There are both bacterial and viral forms. While quite uncommon, the Bordetella vaccine, just as any other vaccine, may have the potential for adverse reactions in some dogs.


There are two versions of the kennel cough vaccination for dogs: the injectable form and the intranasal form. The injectable form is simply injected under the skin, while the intranasal form is squirted into the dog's nostrils.


Some dogs may develop side effects after receiving the intranasal vaccine. They may include sneezing, nasal discharge, fever and coughing from a few days to one week after the intranasal vaccination.


The intranasal vaccine must be only given by squirting it into the nostrils. Should it be accidentally injected under the skin by mistake, dogs may develop a skin reaction along with an abscess.


While it is quite uncommon for the Bordetella vaccine to cause anaphylactic shock, it may still occur in susceptible dogs. Anaphylactic shock generally develops within minutes after the vaccination and requires immediate intervention in order to give the dog the antidote, epinephrine.


It is important for dog owners to realize that no vaccine is 100 percent effective. Indeed, the Bordetella vaccine may not be able to prevent a dog from getting kennel cough in the first place, but it may effectively reduce its severity.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Beverly


Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.