Bordetella: Does Your Dog Really Need the Kennel Cough Vaccine?

Written by Jan on March 21, 2012 – 12:01 am

News from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccine Guideline’s Group: Vaccine Guidelines, page 11: “Canine respiratory
disease complex (kennel cough) is not a vaccine-preventable disease and the vaccine should only be used to help manage the disease.” That is, don’t waste your money.

Unfortunately, your veterinarian, kennel owner, trainer, day care provider or groomer says your dog should/must be vaccinated against kennel cough, but you’re trying not to over-vaccinate.

What should you do?

More and more, people with pets are finding another vet, kennel owner, day care provider or groomer — or keeping their pet at home!  Vaccination is a serious medical procedure with significant risks.  If that weren’t bad enough, the “kennel cough” vaccine is unlikely to prevent kennel cough! It can even produce kennel-cough like symptoms. The WSAVA Guidelines say, “Transient (3–10 days) coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge may occur in a small percentage of vaccinates.” It can also cause a serious anaphylactoid reaction. Look up anaphylactoid. You won’t like it.

Regarding kennels, day care and grooming facilities: In general, if they have good ventilation and practice good hygiene, kennel cough shouldn’t even be an issue. Bordetella is not for dogs playing together in well-ventilated areas — like dog parks or backyards or living rooms. It’s for dogs in close quarters, like kennels. That’s why it’s called kennel cough!

Think of kennel cough as a canine cold, transmitted as human colds are transmitted — from an infected individual in close contact with an individual with compromised immunity.  Like a cold, it is also considered a mild self-limiting disease.  If humans can’t effectively be vaccinated against a cold, how can pets? A veterinarian friend uses an OTC remedy called B & T Cough and Bronchial Syrup to treat the cough.  For small dogs she uses the children’s variety.  See your vet for further treatment information.

If your service provider is afraid your dog will contract kennel cough at their establishment, offer to sign a waiver saying you’ve been informed of the risk and will waive liability if your pet falls ill. That should do it.  Should.  It’s often just liability at issue, not a question of health.

If the person insisting on the bordetella vaccine is afraid other dogs at their establishment will contract kennel cough from your unvaccinated dog, this person clearly doesn’t trust that the vaccinated dogs actually have immunity. If they don’t believe the vaccine is protective,  why insist that you or anyone else vaccinate?

Note: If you decide to give the vaccine, make sure it is the intranasal form, that is, given as nose drops, not injected.  And give the vaccine at least 2 weeks before contact with other dogs, for the sake of both your dog and other dogs.

Don’t take my word for any of this. Read what three vets and a PhD have to say about the bordetella vaccine:

World-renowned vaccination scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, says [emphasis mine]: “Many animals receive “kennel cough” vaccines that include Bordetella and CPI and/or CAV-2 every 6 to 9 months without evidence that this frequency of vaccination is necessary or beneficial. In contrast, other dogs are never vaccinated for kennel cough and disease is not seen. CPI immunity lasts at least 3 years when given intranasally, and CAV -2 immunity lasts a minimum of 7 years parenterally for CAV-I. These two viruses in combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica are the agents most often associated with kennel cough, however, other factors play an important role in disease (e.g. stress, dust, humidity, molds, mycoplasma, etc.), thus kennel cough is not a vaccine preventable disease because of the complex factors associated with this disease. Furthermore, this is often a mild to moderate self limiting disease. I refer to it as the ‘Canine Cold.'”


Mike Richards, DVM 12/7/02: “On the differing recommendations among vets for bordetella (and probably the other viruses and bacteria) — to some extent recommendations are based on who the vet believes. The vaccine manufacturers claim one year duration for many of the bordetella vaccines but other studies don’t support this claim. So do you believe the vaccine label or the other studies? I tend to lean towards the results of studies not funded by the company but lots of people are comfortable believing label claims.”   Read more: Dog Vaccines and Vaccinations – VetInfo


From Dr. Eric Barchas: “I generally do not recommend kennel cough vaccines unless dogs are staying in a boarding facility that requires them (and even then I don’t truly recommend vaccination — instead, I recommend finding a facility that doesn’t require them).


Bordetella Vaccination for Dogs: Fraud and Fallacy

by Dogs Naturally Magazine   July/August 2010 Issue
Reprinted with permission

Bordetella or Kennel Cough is commonly required by boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals. These vaccinations are delivered to a staggeringly large percentage of dogs and the reason is not to protect your dog: the reason is to protect these facilities against liability.

The proprietors who push for these vaccines may be assuming more liability than they can handle and the stakes are very high. The truth is, the vaccines are not only ineffective but they are far from safe. Yet they are routinely given to combat a self limiting disease that amounts to as much danger to your dog as the common cold does to you.

What is interesting is that when you bring your dog to the vet for his Bordetella vaccination, he will have already been exposed to the natural flora: all animals are exposed to both Bordetella and Parainfluenza prior to vaccination. It makes little sense to vaccinate an animal for something he has already been exposed to.

There are at least forty agents capable of initiating Bordetella so vaccination might appear to be prudent if it weren’t for the fact that only two of these agents are contained in the intranasal vaccine. This poor percentage truly makes the Bordetella vaccine a shot in the dark. The lack of efficacy is well summarized by noted immunologist Dr. Ronald Schultz: “Kennel Cough is not a vaccinatable disease”.

Despite the lack of any real effectiveness, the Bordetella vaccine is routinely given and touted as safe, especially in the intranasal form. Make no mistake however: the dangers and misinformation surrounding this seemingly innocuous spray are just as tangible and frightening as any other vaccination. A major problem with the Bordetella vaccine is that it is part of a combination vaccine. Unbeknownst to most pet owners, the Bordetella intranasal spray also contains Parainfluenza (the vaccine for which is not surprisingly, just as ineffective as Bordetella). The problems with the Parainfluenza portion are threefold.

First, there is a real danger of dangerous immunological overload when vaccinations are offered in combination. Second, like Bordetella, most dogs have already been exposed to Parainfluenza, making the necessity of vaccination questionable. Third, the Parainfluenza vaccine is just as ineffective as the Bordetella vaccine because the vaccine does not provide antibody against Parainfluenza where it is most needed: on the mucosal surfaces.

Other dangers associated with the Bordetella vaccine are obviously not far removed from the dangers associated with any other vaccination. Although Bordetella is a bacterial vaccine, we now know that bacterial vaccines present the same threat as Modified Live Vaccines. Modified Live Viruses from human vaccines are now known to become incorporated in the genes of the host and can shuffle, reassert, and reactivate thirty or more years after vaccination.

Bacterial genes are capable of the same activity, lurking in the genetic makeup, waiting to replicate and awaken. The intranasal Bordetella vaccine has been known to activate a previously asymptomatic collapsing trachea and disrupt phagocytic activity which can progress to pneumonia. The toxins from the vaccine will also kill the ciliated lining of the trachea, creating a denuded area susceptible to anything coming down the windpipe. Perhaps collapsing trachea, irritable tracheas and pneumonias are all complications of Bordetella and the Bordetella vaccine.

Vaccination of any sort also elevates histamine which can promote cancer, chronic inflammation and loss of tolerance. In general, all vaccination creates immune dysregulation and is responsible for a vast array of pathology. The Bordetella vaccine can wreak havoc outside the body as well. Bordetella will shed from a vaccinated host for seven weeks while Parainfluenza will shed for a week. This means that every vaccinated dog is a walking dispenser of potentially damaging bacteria.

While the risk to other dogs is obvious, it should be of little concern to healthy dogs because Bordetella is generally a self limiting disease. What you might find surprising is that the shed bacteria is a risk to other animals…and to people. The reason we now have a feline Bordetella (and not surprisingly, a feline Bordetella vaccine), is likely thanks to the widespread use and subsequent shedding of Bordetella from vaccinated dogs to cats sharing the household. If this seems hard to imagine, consider how dogs first fell victim to Canine Influenza.

Canine Influenza was initially documented in racing greyhounds. It is worth noting that many of these dogs shared tracks with race horses: race horses who are routinely vaccinated with Equine Influenza. It is not a stretch to predict Bordetella will infect gerbils, hamsters and rabbits in the near future and it is with certainty that the vaccine manufacturers will be well rewarded with the continued fruits of their canine Bordetella vaccine.

Not surprisingly, humans are not left out of the equation. Ruth Berkelman MD (Former Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service) writes: “The potential for both exposure and for adverse consequences secondary to exposure to veterinary vaccines in humans is growing. Enhanced efforts are needed to recognize and to prevent human illness associated with the use of veterinary vaccines”. Dr. Berkelman noted that pertussis an whooping cough-like complaints in children followed exposure to Bordetella bronchiseptica from the Bordetella vaccine and it is no coincidence that Bordetella bronchiseptica and whooping cough pertussis are very closely related. Interestingly, the rate of whooping cough is highest in highly vaccinated populations.

Immunocompromised humans and animals are at an elevated risk of infection from these canine vaccines. There is a recently reported case of Bordetella bronchiseptica pneumonia in a kidney and pancreas transplant patient who had to board and subsequently vaccinate her dogs at a veterinary clinic while she was hospitalized. Vaccines contain contaminating agents including mycoplasmas which are also very communicable to humans and other mammals.

In the end, vaccination for Bordetella is at best fruitless and at worst, a pathetic fraudulence at the hands of veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers. It is up to you whether or not your dog receives this vaccination and that is not overstating the obvious. Sadly, most pet owners are aware of this but choose vaccination because they feel they are at the mercy of boarding kennels, training schools and veterinarians.

Patricia Monahan Jordan is a graduate of the North Carolina College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced conventional veterinary medicine for twenty years and founded six different veterinary facilities in North Carolina. Dr. Jordan has traced the paths of immunopathology to vaccine administration and uncovered the cycle of disease and the endless cycle of disease management that results from vaccine administration. Dr. Jordan can be reached at  She is the author of Mark of the Beast, Hidden in Plain Sight.

© 2010 Dogs Naturally Magazine. This article may not be reproduced or reprinted in whole or in part without prior written consent of Intuition Publishing.

Related articles:
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing
Protecting Dogs From Vaccine ReactionsDog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus?
Dog Flu Shot: Thoughts from a Vet about H3N8






Tags: bordatella, bordetella, cough, dog, kennel cough, Vaccination, vaccine
Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination | 57 Comments » Email This Post

57 Comments to “Bordetella: Does Your Dog Really Need the Kennel Cough Vaccine?”

  1. kathy and tricky Says:

    Thank you for your great work … this is being sharing on the internet….Great…thank you again

  2. designer dog boutique Says:

    I was just searching for this information for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  3. Jan Says:

    Hi Designer. I don’t know why my bordetella article isn’t ranking higher. My rabies articles top the lists. It may be that it’s competing with much bigger websites, particularly ones that pay Google to advertise. What a world we live in! I changed some of the keywords and will link to it from other articles. If you have a Facebook page, perhaps you’d share the link. Thanks, Jan

  4. Yvonne Says:

    Unfortunately I researched this information AFTER my dog received his bortatella vaccine and became very ill. The vaccine was required by his groomer. We went to the vet to get the vaccine that morning, and went straight to the groomer. Not only did it make him sick,but I found out later, that it could not have possibly have even been effective in that short a time. He received the intranasal vaccine.

    When I picked him up from the groomer, his nose and eyes were watering a lot, and he was drooling excessively. He was weak. I lifted him out of the car and he just sat with his back to me, and wouldn’t respond. He appeared to be “out of it”. Finally, he came in slowly and plopped down on the kitchen floor like a bag of potatoes or something, and lay there, staring.

    A couple hours later, he was still on the floor, panting fast and irregularly. He did not lift his head when I would call him, he just rolled his eyes toward me, and he looked so sad! I had to help him get outside to pee. He threw up several times.

    I was beside myself! For 3 days he only took a bite of food here and there (I had to bring him his bowl) I called the vet of course, but it was Friday night. They had me watch him closely through the weekend.

    Each day he did get a little bit better. But he was so sick that I thought I might lose him. After reading about this dumb (I’m tempted to use a superlative) vaccine, I was so angry and hurt about being misinformed and putting my poor dog through that suffering! The vet said he had never seen a dog get that sick from the bortatella vaccine, but apparently this severe of a reaction is possible. I just pray that it didn’t do any long term damage. I groom him myself now.

    Please be careful with those vaccines, everybody!

  5. Lisa Says:

    Thank you for this article. Wondering if you know if a new puppy from a kennel, that was given Bronchishield 111 @ 4 wks (supposedly), came to our house @ 8 wks, 4 days, with 4 existing dogs, ages 15, 14, 10 and 7 (2 of whom I know have never had any type of kennel cough vaccination, because I have always been leary and do not over vaccinate) could give kennel cough to the existing dogs? I am pretty sure this is what happened as when we got the puppy she had a cough and a runny nose (not bad). I thought she had a little cold as it was very cold when we brought her home. Unfornately, our existing dogs came down with kennel cough and it was a long road that we traveled. After many visits and calls to our Vet, 5 antibiotics, prednisone, over the counter cough meds and hydrocodone, plus a consult with the University of Mn Vet School, and 5 weeks of little or no sleep, we are finally what I would consider over it! Whew! I have not contacted the kennel about this, but want to. My vet is sure that this is how they got it as my dogs stay home and are never kenneled. Please give me some advice on any information you would have and how you would handle this. Thank you.

  6. Jan Says:

    Lisa, there is a caution about that product at — “A very small percentage of animals may show sneezing, coughing or nasal discharge following vaccination.” There are further links to follow from there.

    4 weeks is terribly young to give that vaccine, or any vaccine.

    Think of what happened as a kid with a cold showing up at school. Everyone else gets the cold, especially if any present have compromised immune systems.

    If you want to pursue it, research the vaccine further. Get the package insert from your vet. Get your dog’s files from all vets then contact the drug maker and ask them to help pay the bills. My guess is that they will say the vaccine was given too early. Then contact the kennel. You can file a claim in small claims court, but I’m not an attorney. Who knows who will prevail? You need to report the incident to the drug maker in any event.

  7. Lisa Estrada Says:

    I just tried to make an appt at a groomer I have used several times with my Havanese and yorkie. I was told today that I had to bring vaccine records and a rabies vaccine was a must. I told her that I do very minimal vaccines and I am not taking my dogs in for a vaccine just to be groomed. The owner of the salon was telling me it is a State Law here in CA now….I told her I better bone up on my grooming skills as my dogs were not being over-vaccinated just for a grooming!

  8. Jan Says:

    Lisa, I want to correct a small error. Here’s my new replay.

    What vaccines are required is esablishment preference — except for rabies vaccination. By law, adult dogs need to be current within the past 3 years. But you don’t necessarily have to give a vaccine for the other diseases. The groomer will be better protected if you do a rabies titer test and a parvovirus/distemper test. It will show if your dog is protected; a shot record just shows that a vaccine was given. Get a blood draw and send it to or have your vet’s lab run it. Titers shouldn’t need repeating for about 3 years.

    Send your groomer to my new vaccination website, This article will tell her everything she (or you) needs to know about vaccination: If she still has questions, have her write me. Also, here’s a good article about kennel cough: If you need more ammunition, let me know.

    And remember: there are lots of groomers. Many of them except titers or are willing to do so.
    You can also offer to write a liability release to protect them. It’s usually all about liability, not health.

  9. Microgynon Says:

    Thanks for sharing information with me, I will return every to read more.

  10. Ogden Zjodko Says:

    Your article makes several false and/or misleading statements the make the rest of your assertions problematic and reduce the credibility of your claims.

    Example: You state that human colds are transmitted from an infected person to “an individual with compromised immunity”. This is false. Compromised immunity results from diseases like HIV infection, old age, transplant rejection drugs, many cancers, severe illness, chemotherapy, etc. Your statement is absurd on its face as it would mean, for example, (a) that a person with a healthy immune system could not catch a cold (b) colds are only transmitted by compromised persons to other compromised persons.

    Example: You say “If humans can’t effectively be vaccinated against colds, then how can pets?” This is clearly a false analogy as a cold is a viral infection for which there is no current vaccine whereas bordatella is a bacterial infection for which vaccination can be objectively measured to be about 70% effective. Your logic would mean, for example, that one could not be vaccinated for polio since there is no effective cold vaccine. Furthermore, your logic supports a conclusion that treatment for a bacterial infection must necessarily be limited in the same way as vaccination against some arbitrary virus. They are two radically different disease organisms and there is no validity to your comparison.

    Example: You state with respect to kennels… “If they don’t believe the vaccine is protective, why insist that you or anyone else vaccinate. This is not how immunology works. Epidemics arise primarily as a function of three criteria (1) current incidence of the disease (2) infectiousness/transmissability of the agent and (3) population immunity. You do not seem to understand that a 70% population immunity combined with the transmissibility of bordatella and a low general incidence means that no epidemic can break out. It has nothing to do with an individual dog being vaccinated; rather it has to do with population level immunity (which might well be lost if appropriate vaccines aren’t given).

  11. PCC - PhilMUG Canine Club (merged: Dog Lovers! and Canine Mac Users) - Page 100 Says:

    […] Re: PCC – PhilMUG Canine Club (merged: Dog Lovers! and Canine Mac Users) @xthine It's nice you have such a wide selection of food/treats available to you @coolpix32 I've never felt the need to have my dogs be given the kennel cough vaccine. Like you, I try to keep their shots to a minimum Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine? | Truth4Dogs […]

  12. Mike Says:

    3 weeks ago our vet recommended this vaccine as we going to travel. They did not tell me about the possible side effects. Now my Boxer is having repeated bouts of watery eyes, runny nose and profuse sneezing. I would not suggest getting this for your dog. It is also my bad for not asking about possible side effects. Had I known I would not had the vaccine administered. Just another fee producing medication which is not necessary.

  13. Jan Says:

    Ogden, none of this info comes from me but from the top experts in the world. If I’m wrong, so are they. That is, Ron Schultz, PhD, Chairman of the Dept of Pathobiology at the Univ. of Wisconsin, calls kennel cough a canine cold. He has been the world’s top research since the 70s. Believe him or not. The article you tore apart was written by two researchers. Not me.

  14. Jan Says:

    Mike, one of the possible adverse reactions to the Bordetella vaccine is a case of kennel cough. Whoops! A little vaccine joke that isn’t the least bit funny. You should have been warned. Furthermore, you probably should have been told that the vaccine is really only necessary for dogs being boarded and then only because the boarder required it.

    Please see Your dog will need some help from a vet trained in homeopathy. Don’t let a mild reaction get worse.

    Also, please sign our petition asking the veterinary community to start informing us with the facts before vaccinating.

  15. Michele Says:

    okay now I am upset. The Delivery man left our gate unlatched and our dogs got out and where impounded. The younger one has psoriasis and the older one is over 10 yrs old. The Humane Society told me that they “had to vaccinate my dogs” and I think it was by injection. Now my very healthy dogs are both showing signs of kennel cough. I also have two cats of which I am concerned about. I’m angry because they charged me for vaccinations that I did not authorize (my animals are vetted regularly and up to date on the few vacs that I agree to), my 1 dog has a skin condition which is autoimmune, and I have two cats. I will be calling up the Humane Society and spreading the word about their policies. They also listed them as strays and “lost their collars” when it was obvious that they are not. I was wondering if there is anything I can do legally if my dogs suffer more severe reactions. Can I hold the Humane society responsible?
    @ Ogden your cerebral retort is flaccid at best. I don’t know what your credentials are but I am glad that I don’t have you on my health care team, nor would I retain you as my lawyer. Theories may rely on logic (which may contain questionable premises) but facts speak reality which resolves the credibility issue with this article. My dogs are experiencing that as I am posting. I am experiencing the concern and expense. So as far as I am concerned the credibility of your “examples” have been shot to S%#T. This may have impressed classmates in a microbiology class but in the real world horse poop has more value.
    Thank you Jan this article is extremely helpful I should have followed my intuition and fought harder to try and prevent them from vaccinating my dogs. I will make sure that what we are experiencing is shared.

  16. Pat Gogol Says:

    My daughter and I have a grooming shop in Ohio, we do not require vaccinations. I do not believe in over vaccinating, we try to only do puppy shots. We never would think of demanding vaccinations from our clients. We try to educate many of our customers about over vaccinating.

  17. Jan Says:

    Michele, I’m not an attorney but my guess is that Humane Society was acting within the law.

    If you can afford it, you should find a vet experinced in treating vaccinosis. I have a whole new not-for-profit website just on vaccination information. Have you visited our new all-vaccination-info website? I hope you’ll take a look and learn more about the subject. There are lots of articles and videos.

    Also, please read this article. I hope it helps.

  18. Jan Says:

    Pat, good for you for being so responsible. I wish more groomers understood the danger of vaccination.

    Have you seen our new video on pet vaccine reactions? And our new all-vaccination-info website? And have you signed our petition asking the veterinary community to stop enabling over-vaccination? I really hope you will. And please tell others!

  19. Jenine Serviolo Says:

    Thank you for your continued great work!

    I am interested in owning my own boarding kennel/doggie day care facility in Maine or another New Englad state. I would like to offer an alternative to the ‘required vaccinations’. I like the idea of offering the waiver. Any other ideas about how I might manage this issue would be helpful.

    As I am doing my research I am also looking for examples of successful boarding kennels that offer a more natural approach and don’t require vaccines. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  20. Jan Says:

    Jenine, I’m afraid I know no kennels whose policies I admire. If I had a kennel, I’d accept titer test results in lieu of shots and would allow a release from liability to avoid both titer tests and shots. And I’d tell people that bordetella is useless. Take a look at my new all-vaccination-information not-for-profit website: And search Bordetella and click the tab: Questions to Ask. I hope this helps.

  21. Jones Natural Chews Where Does Your Dog Stay When You Leave? » Jones Natural Chews Says:

    […] don’t forget the kennel cough vaccine. Though word on the street says it may not be effective. I’ve heard stories. Quite a few. People whose dogs have been […]

  22. Pat Says:

    Bailey got kennel cough from Bordatella vaccine last fall. She was very ill, and it was very costly. I will not get it again.

  23. Denise Says:

    Thanks for this valuable info. I run a private dog boarding home. I share your beliefs about vaccinations however as a boarder, I have to consider liability issues so we do require Distemper, Parvo and Rabies within the last 3 years (or titer tests are acceptable as well). We do not require bordetella and I try to discourage owners from vaccinating against it however almost all of our clients do it anyway. Once the vet hears the dog is going to be “boarded,” vaccinating for bordetella is apparently a given. When scheduling the pre-boarding interview, I email clients telling them what we require and I make it clear that we do NOT require bordetella. I tell them that their dog cannot come if he has been vaccinated for bordetella intranasally within the last 2 weeks as I understand they can shed the live virus for a period of time after the vaccination. (Actually reading what one of the vets above wrote, it should be more like 7 weeks, is that correct?) Does this only apply to the intranasal vaccine or the injection as well? Despite my instructions, many clients come to their meet and greet and I see on their shot records that they have just taken the dog to the vet to get vaccinated for everything including bordetella. They insist that their vet told them it was fine for the dog to be around other dogs, no waiting period was necessary. Are there differing opinions as to whether or not the dogs shed the live virus after being vaccinated for bordetella intranasally or are these vets just completely irresponsible? I am currently re-writing my policy on vaccines and will be linking to your site here as well as some of the other links you’ve provided if that is okay. Also, if a dog has gotten kennel cough but recovered, how long should he wait before being around other dogs? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  24. Jan Says:

    Denise, I’m sorry to take so long to respond. Actually, I thought I responded right away but can’t find what I wrote. I did write a vet friend about your questions. And I’m thrilled to hear that kennel owners are starting to look into the over-vaccination scam.

    Re the injectable, it is not ever recommended. My vet friend wrote: The sole reason they came up with an injectable Bordatella is to avoid injury to the vets and vet techs etc from spraying that mess into the face, up the nose of the dogs! TRUTH”

    She said it takes about 3 weeks for kennel cough to run its course.

    I hope you’ll ask your clients to read my compiled article about Bordetella.

    Re linking to information, have your clients read at my new website. And have them watch the videos on the homepage. Maybe they will start paying attention.


  25. Jen (jenfryreyesonly on twitter) Says:

    Hi there
    Please kindly excuse my errors – this iPhone is a challenge with a stop and go mind of its own: )
    I’m not sure of where to begin this …
    If anyone might see my posting I’d really appreciate some guidance or feedback –
    re :

    my youngest BEACHES BORN MARCH 1999 and pretty solid for a shihtzu under 20 lbs is coughing sneezing when she gets up from sleep or jumps off the bed or walking a little way down the hall ,it’s like she’s gagging and in her neck area i feel swollen ? glands; seems like a sore throat swollen -I’ve been through this before but not so intense as it seems to be now. It’s a concern of what herbal things can I do for her – its not good when she can’t walk or run outside without coughing hacking away.

    Here’s the weird part she acts like a child teething drools out of her mouth when out for a walk;she has to sniff every little thing it’s a thrill or challenge for her – she is fixed but I’m worn out with her sniffing and maybe ingesting bacteria or who knows what ? dog poop etc and now she is really acting opposite to what she normally is. No food no cooked beef or liver treats as offered

    It’s been a tough time but her mother dog GINA BORN 1996 June is way more healthy then beaches except the eyes arthritis hearing but Beaches is complicated with poultry allergies so not a thing with poultry chicken in it for her or she’s within hours cheesey yeast and itching liking like crazy –
    the cough started in the spring after a visit to the farm vet for a lump check that was golf ball size on her last breast closest to tail after the visit she was off on coughing it was a concern but I did home remedies – she had surgery there in ? july2012 lump removed shock it was cancer but she is clear in chest lungs they said but she’s coughing like crazy and we do live in an apartment building I avoid seeing other dogs with them now – life is very limited with this situation. I use to give her liquid echinacea goldenseal ? It stopped her coughing before but I haven’t pushed it at her as much this time for concern of doing wrong. She was due for shots but didn’t get them as she just had surgery.
    I was giving her vit d omega acidolphis multivitamin vit c but have been concerned with maybe those things are wrong for her. She is on wellness turkey sweet potatoe and canisource and treats like freeze dried duck liver soup bones etc
    If someone could give me some herbal supplement ideas I’d appreciate it.
    It was suggested to give her ESSIAC – after cancer surgery done
    – what do you suggest on that
    I’m surprised the old mother Hubbard GINA is not coughing and seems pretty healthy for her age hasn’t caught it – she just keeps wiping her eyes every where to clear them – wish there was a blind dog org here –she’s lahhasa apso and loves people running playing digging sprinklers pools etc very sporty wish i could get her eyes corrected
    Beaches her daughter complete opposite lazy daisy no swimming for her –
    my hope is that I can go buy some herbal things to resolve the cough cold throat or what ever it is that’s knocking her down- thank god they go on potty matts if needed.
    That’s all for now but I meant to say veggies I cook frozen cauliflower carrots broccoli or peas beans spinach and toss a little liver treat crushed over the veggies at least every other day and treats go in freezer if not totally eaten
    Distiller water is all they will drink.
    My apologies for making this do long : )
    Ps I need to fly Ontario to Edmonton to my frail not well celiac mother but there’s not anyone to tend the girls here with their age and complications and kennel risks – ideas needed for getting the dogs to Edmonton some how -I need to get there dogs and all to tend my mother -a Christmas we haven’t had together in many years 1993 approx….a concern with my mothers health being frail I may be there a while so dogs need to some how go along
    Thank you for your help everyone

  26. Jan Says:

    Hi Jen. Please do not vaccinate a dog with health problems. Please read this: and this:

    Re distilled water, please give filtered water, not distilled. It can cause problems long term.

    The product my vet recommends for kennel cough is B & H Children’s Cough Syrup. I have used it on my dogs and got excellent results.

    Re herbals, they can be tricky. But if you want to try some, you might want to visit

    Are you seeing a vet? You probably should.

  27. Sherry Says:

    Thanks for such an informative article. I have a chihuahua who weighs 1 lb. 8 oz. at 11 months old. I was very cautious with his vaccines as a baby and I’m even more concerned about getting his boosters soon! I def will see if my vet can do the titer test to see if he actually NEEDS the vaccines. I’m sure my vet will say to go ahead and vaccinate! It’s no skin off his nose if something happens to my baby.
    Also, I give Benadryl before administering vaccines to my puppies or adult dogs at booster time. What is your opinion on this? I’m scared to say it, but I’ve never had a vaccine rx!
    Thanks again!

  28. Jan Says:

    Sherry, if your tiny dog got through puppy shots, stop! Read these articles first. They all have links back to studies and reports from experts about when and when not to vaccinate. You say it’s no skin off your vet’s nose if your dog has a reaction; it IS money in his pocket. Here’s a wake up 3 minute video:

    Questions to Ask Before You Vaccinate:

    Titer Testing:

    Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing

  29. Denise Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the additional info on Bordetella. The video interview of Dr. Schultz was informative. I like the idea of titer testing to avoid unnecessary vaccinations. I posted the link to your site on my Facebook page and will certainly link to some of the sub-pages on the site once I get a chance to revise my policies page. Thanks again.

  30. daniel gennoe Says:

    hi, i need some help, my 15 week old shar pei puppy had the Bordetella Intranasal spray and he became very ill overnight and died the following day. I am raising a complaint with the Royal College of Vets in London and if anyone can help me compile more facts about how this “vaccine” is dangerous, it would be greatly appreciated. The vet did not explain what the dangers were and didnt give us the option of having it or not and im convinced this is negligent behaviour. my email is

    PLEASE HELP ME.. thanks.

  31. Confused! Limited Vaccine Schedule - Page 2 - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    […] chosen not to give bordatella vaccines. Here is a good article about it from Jan Rasmusen's site: Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine? | Truth4Dogs I have also chosen not to give the lyme vaccine. Here is a good article about it by Dr. Karen […]

  32. Walker Sharum Says:

    Coughing is the body’s way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages camera or of reacting to an irritated airway. Coughs have distinctive traits you can learn to recognize. A cough is only a symptom, not a disease, and often the importance of your cough can be determined only when other symptoms are evaluated.`

    Take a look at our website as well

  33. evy Says:

    I am a strong proponent of minimizing vaccinations – but on bordatella – I am a strong proponent of giving the vaccination. I do dog rescue and kennel cough is ubiquitous in these facilities. And those of us who bring home rescue dogs have our own dogs frequently exposed to it. So we tend to give bordatella every 6 months. I have never had any problems with the vaccinations. However, I can tell you that dogs who end up in the shelter – will be euthanized for having kennel cough. Yes it is a treatable disease but they use that as an excuse to euthanize. And dont think your dog could never end up at the shelter – a big windstorm, a gate inadvertantly left open, a dog that bolts, etc – can end up at the shelter. So to keep your animal safe – I would recommend the nasal bordatella. And again I do titers not vaccinations for my own dogs – so I am like minded on this issue – however, bordatella can truly save the life of your dog

  34. vulcanize Says:

    Hi there,
    Just came across this site when I was searching for some answers with regards to nasal vaccines because we had to put down our 12 year old yellow lab on the day before. Was wondering if it was the Bordatella administered to her in 2010 that triggered the growth of nasal tumor (which became pretty severe and agonizing for her) and thus forcing us to have to take the drastic step.
    Diagnosed the cancer in mid 2012 after two rounds of biopsy and it was rather late for any alternate remedies since it was fast spreading.

  35. Jan Says:

    Vulcanize, I’m so sorry. I haven’t heard of a nasal tumor developing from the Bordetella vaccine, but then, drug makers don’t study long term reactions. I’ll ask around and will let you know if I hear anything. It does seem suspicious. Vaccines do cause cancer and Bordetella is administered nasally.

  36. Jan Says:

    Evy, I understand your point of view, but the vaccine isn’t effective. Dr. Ron Schultz did a study years ago giving half a kennel the vaccine and not giving it to the other half. Both had the same incidence of disease.

    If it were me, I’d ere on the side of caution, knowing that the vaccine can cause reactions, including kennel cough!, and knowing that experts say the vaccine doesn’t work.

    You say Bordetella says lives. I say, more likely, it causes problems. The top expert in the world, Dr. Ron Schultz, does not recommend it. I say he knows more than either of us.

  37. Leslie Solook Says:

    My golden retriever, Luke, is 6-1/2 years old. He has been going to the same doggy day care two days a week for at least 4 years. Today was his last day there. When I dropped him off this morning I was handed a piece of paper informing me that he was overdue for the 6 month bordatella vaccine. I discussed my concerns regarding over-vaccination, and was told by the day care manager that she would relay my concerns to the management and someone would call me at work. To make a long story short, I waited all day–no call. When I picked Luke up at 5, there was a letter from “the Management” that basically said that this was the protocol and if Luke was not revaccinated he would not be able to attend day care. I am absolutely furious. Over the past 4+ years, I figure that I have spent at least $8,000 at doggy day care, but apparently my concerns for my dog’s health do not even warrant a personal phone call to discuss my concerns. Luke loves doggy dare care. But I am not only concerned about their bordatella policy, but I am really pissed about the way I was treated. Although it breaks my heart, Luke will not be going back!

  38. Shirley Bernstock Says:

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  39. Tiffany Says:

    Yesterday my friends dog was given the bordatella vaccine. Today he is dead. He was fine until this morning when he was lackadaisical and glum. The vet was called and he said no worries, just responding to vaccine and probably sad you are leaving for vacation. By noon he had a brief seizure and passed. I’m not sure if it was a bad batch or what but I am so sad this young healthy big love of a dog is no longer with us. Is there any protocol to follow to report it? Any thoughts on what or how rhs could have gone wrong?

  40. Jan Says:

    Hi Tiffany. Your friend’s dog is just one of many unnecessary deaths. Did the dog get Bordetella because he was being kenneled? Just another reason to get a petsitter.

    If the Bordetella was given alone, your friend may be paid for the replacement value of the dog, which of course is not the real value. Get the brand name, serial #, lot, etc. and learn where to report the death here: Make sure the vet also reports it. Most are remiss in doing this. Have your friend insist that the manufacturer reimburse her for her loss. Tell them she’s going to war about this, will call the media, etc.

    If the Bordetella was given with other vaccines, especially from other manufacturers, your friend can still report it but chances of reimbursement will be lower. But it should still be done.

    There’s a small chance that the batch was bad, but likely, it was a combination of things given with the vaccine, like other vaccines or meds. The saddest part is that the vaccine was unnecessary in the first place.

  41. Colleen Combs Says:

    As a boarding and day care facility owner/operator, we are FOREVER challenged with our “optional” policy of vaccinating against Bordetella. I am a believer that we over-vaccinate EVERYTHING, but do see the value of certain vaccines. That being said, we try to inform clients about the dangers of over vaccination, as well as dispel the myths that vaccines such as this will magically keep all colds and flus at bay from their pet. BUT we don’t want to overstep our bounds and remind people that it is entirely their option if they choose to vaccinate against bordetella. ENTER THE LOCAL VETERINARIANS!!! We are forever attacked about our “irresponsible” policy. Because we are not “Veterinarians”, how dare we make such suggestions, etc. How can we possible help to bridge this gap and remain credible to both sides of the populace? We are fortunate to have a HEALTHY THRIVING business with multiple locations and very few incidents of disease or outbreaks of any kind, however the ocassional thing will pop up (when housing nearly 100 dogs per day at each location, SOMETHING is bound to show up from time to time) which is when the Vets get to wag their fingers in our faces and say “I told you so”. It’s difficult to remind them that a dog entering into THEIR hospital is more likely to catch kennel cough, where sick animals are a constant, than it is to have caught it at our open air, spacious, clean, and healthy environment. So I am COMPLETELY open to any suggestions on how to handle this very precarious situation.

  42. Jan Says:

    Colleen, I love you! If there were more boarding kennels like yours, more dogs would be healthy and alive.

    You have two problems with your enlightened attitude: uninformed and profit seeking vets and poorly informed clients.

    For the clients, you might ask them to read: It tells the truth about canine vaccines and links to studies, extracts and other expert opinions. You might also remind them that vets profit from vaccination and the other products and services sold when clients come in for those shots. Also, vets, like MDs, are often behind the times. Medical advice changes daily but many vets are still practicing 1980s medicine. The has lots of videos as well.

    For vets, many won’t change no matter what. They didn’t learn vaccination protocols in vet school. They learned to vaccinate in their first practice out of vet school. If that practice was behind the times, that’s what they learned. They will likely readily admit that vaccination postcards are what bring clients in for the all-important checkup. Ask them what continuing education they have in vaccination. They won’t have any. You might also ask them if they adhere to the guidelines of virtually every vet school and the American Animal Hospital Association Task Force. And ask them to read what world-renowned vaccination scientist Ron Schultz says.

    Dr. Schultz says kennel cough is like the common cold. You can’t vaccinate against the cold and you can’t vaccinate against kennel cough.

    Thanks so much for posting your comment.

  43. kennel cough vaccine | Kennel Cough Says:

    […] Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine … Mar 21, 2012 … Kennel cough is not a vaccine-preventable disease. It is often a mild-to-moderate self-limiting disease — a canine cold. Furthermore, the … […]

  44. Little Tibbe Sick Again - Bad Diarrhea Since Yesterday. Breeders-to-be - READ THIS! - Page 8 - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] efficacy, as do all the vaccines against bacterial vectors, I choose not to get this one. Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine? | Truth4Dogs __________________ Kat PeekABooTinkerbellSapphire &InfinityPlease pray for Pat: […]

  45. Sherry Hansley Says:

    Thank you. I can’t thank you enough. I’ve run into this vaccination issue again now that I want to board my dogs for a weekend. I refuse to have then subjected to Bordetella vacc. in any form. I intend to send this article to the kennel owner and discuss signing a waiver. He’s an intelligent person who aids homeless animals in a big way so I’m hoping to get him involved in this. I lost my dog of a lifetime to IMHA developed as a result of a booster given when his health was compromised by overuse of antibiotics. He died in two weeks after transfusions. Heartbreaking. My vet admitted that the shot was the cause. An overzealous tech injected him as I was saying no. I’ll never have a dog like that again – only 6 1/2, a GSD. I have two GSDs now and they have titers & the required Rabies 3-year shot. They’re also on a modified raw food diet, all home made. They’re healthy and happy, especially my nine-year-old. My four-year-old was raised on this diet and regime. So for me to have them given a shot or intranasal just to board them for three days is ridiculous. We not only have the vets to worry about, the kennel owners are ignorant, too. We must protect our animals – the responsibility of sharing our lives with them. I want to be as connected to this issue as possible so I can do what I can to help spread the word and support the work of Jan and Dr. Schultz.

  46. Dr Mary Says:

    Forget the 6 years + of vet school and the 20 + years of veterinary experience and listen to someone who has no medical nor scientific training? Please people….do NOT listen to this woman. Talk to your own veterinarian as she is sprouting nonsense.

  47. Jan Says:

    Dr. Mary, my post on Bordetella vaccination is a compilation of the views of recognized experts. I make no money on vaccinating or not vaccinating and thus have no conflict of interest. If you have published, reliable, unbiased information contradicting anything in this article, I would welcome it and adjust my views appropriately. Until then, I’ll follow the dictates of Dr. Ron Schultz. He sits on the most important organizations’ vaccine guideline boards — including AAHA’s three boards and also WSAVA’s and whose decades of published, scientific research serves as the basis for these boards’ recommendations.

    Veterinary comments are always welcome, and I approved yours and put them on-line rather than deleting them, but mere insults backed by no concrete, unbiased information benefit no one.

  48. kennel cough vaccination | Kennel Cough Says:

    […] Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine … Mar 21, 2012 … disease complex (kennel cough) is not a vaccine-preventable disease and the vaccine should only be used to help manage the disease. […]

  49. kennel cough vaccine | Kennel Cough Says:

    […] Should Your Dog Get Bordetella, the Kennel Cough Vaccine … Mar 21, 2012 … disease complex (kennel cough) is not a vaccine-preventable disease and the vaccine should only be used to help manage the disease. […]

  50. Get Effective Pet Vaccination Services Says:

    What are the initial symptoms of kennel cough, can you explain in brief?

  51. Sharon Sutphin Says:

    Both of my chihuahuas were vaccinated for kennel cough before we left them at our usual boarding place. It is a very clean well kept facility and my dogs were boarded inside in an air conditioned kennel room. It was booked and all kennels were full. I picked the dogs up right when arrived home 6 days later and immediately my smaller dog started coughing with a heavy whooping cough type sound. Does it help to have them vaccinated if they can catch kennel cough anyway? What is the point?

  52. Greg Latham Says:

    Hello, I have a question regarding taking my dogs to the groomer and if they need the bordetella vaccine for that? The groomer does not require it and after reading your post above and other articles I like a lot of people are trying not to over vaccinate my dogs. If they visit the groomer every 8 weeks or so is the vaccine needed? The area is well ventilated and from what I’ve read if it is then the vaccine isn’t needed… Thanks in advance

  53. Jan Says:

    Greg, you are fortunate to have found a groomer who does not require Bordetella. Take advantage of it — and praise him/her.

    If your dogs visited the groomer daily, the vaccine would be unnecessary — and ineffective — according to experts I’ve interviewed. If it were my dog (I’m not a vet), I definitely wouldn’t do it. Kennel cough is usually mild. Instead, keep your dog’s immune system strong.

    Re vaccination in general, please read this:

  54. Linda Doyle Says:

    I agree and wish I would have read this article before having
    my Biewer Terrier – 10 months old vaccinated with the 3-way Bronchial, as required by the Vet, before we can have him in
    to have some stubborn baby teeth removed. After having the spray administered Sept. 11th, within days he began, what they are merely calling “reverse sneezing”, but his little body stiffens up and he can’t do anything while he tries to breathe.
    We returned to the vet with him and they took an x-ray said his throat & breathing passage looked okay, but put him on an anti-biotic with steroid. Needless to say it has been 7 days and he is still wheezing. I believe it was the vaccine that did this to him and I am dealing with the guilt of letting them administer it to him – as it was for them – not us. $$$$

    My little guy is our baby and he was healthier before we had
    that visit.

  55. Terry Dean Says:

    I was wandering if my dog I just adopted from the shelter had bordetella in the kennel can he still get it again if he has to be crated at his new home bc I was concerned about it since he’s only a yr old? Please contact me at this #856-343-2087 I am in a need to know situation bc I’m thinking on putting him on a calming pill when he has to be crated for sometime

  56. Jan Says:

    Terry, I don’t really understand. Why would he need Bordetella to be crated?

  57. Denise Says:

    If a dog receives the bordetella vaccine intranasally how long would you suggest waiting before taking him to doggie daycare? 2 week moratorium? In this article it states the dog can shed the virus for 7 weeks?

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