$(‘head’).append(‘ Bordetella bronchiseptica is a ubiquitous bacterial organism which causes respiratory disease and is most commonly seen in canine patients; however, strains do affect other mammalian species. Spread or transmission is typically through direct contact to respiratory secretions thus the greatest risk of exposure occurs in situations where dogs are in close proximity to one another: boarding facilities, grooming salons, play cares, dog parks and competitive events.
So how do dogs contract the causative agent in the first place?
Well there’s always a source. The problem is that the infected individual may not be recognizable as it takes a while to see illness, AND not all dogs shedding the organism are clinical: coughing (wet or dry), sneezing, showing clear discharge from the eyes and or nose, and/or wheezing. Following infection, some dogs have been shown to shed the organism for an additional 2-3 months despite their signs of illness having resolved after only a week or two.
Why is annual vaccination recommended?
The immunity generated through vaccination or true exposure to the wild type bacterial agent is short-lived. Dogs having been infected naturally by this organism through play, close contact, or shared items such as but not limited to toys, water and food bowls, kennels, et cetera, appear to have increased immunity for only a year.
Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is a non-core vaccine recommended ONLY for pets most likely to come into contact with this bacterial organism based upon their particular lifestyle. For the most current recommendations and information on vaccine protocols, the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Task Force.
Commonly Used Bordetella Vaccines: ALL Are ANNUAL!
What are the best methods to prevent the disease?
Limit sharing of items that are likely to be contaminated with other dogs’ respiratory secretions.
Limit exposure to areas where large numbers of dogs congregate.
Vaccinate your dog 10 -14 days PRIOR TO exposure to high risk situations to allow the immune system time to produce protective antibodies.
Remember, vaccination does not equal protection. Vaccines are designed to stimulate the body’s own immune system and to prime it to attack immediately a specific organism should exposure occur thereby limiting its ability to colonize and to produce illness. Nothing is 100%; however, by taking special precautions, you can limit the chances of illness developing in your canine companion. ]]>