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. Read more »

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Tags: bordatella, bordetella, cough, dog, kennel cough, Vaccination, vaccine
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Dog Flu Shot: Thoughts from a Vet about H3N8

Written by Jan on December 18, 2009 – 9:52 am

Want to learn more about the dog flu shot? Read this article by my friend, Dr. Paula Terafaj, of Founder’s Vet in Brea.  I think it’s an excellent compainjectionnion to my Truth4Dogs dog flu shot article.  Before you vaccinate, investigate! 


“Up to 8% of clinically ill dogs may die from complications of canine influenza, H3N8. — quote from a brochure promoting the shot.”

What’s the implication of that jaw dropping statement — or this quote by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): “The AVMA believes there is urgent need for an effective canine influenza virus (CIV) vaccine to improve the health and welfare of animals and reduce the financial impacts of canine influenza.” Good grief! Will our dogs drop like flies? What’s up Doc?

Since I am especially distrustful of medical advice based on studies funded by drug companies pushing their newest wonder drug, backed by financial partners within the medical establishment — listen up! It’s time to read between the lines… Read more »

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Tags: avoiding the flu, canine flu, Coughing, discharge, dog flu, fever, H3N8, kennel cough, shot, sneezing, symptoms, vaccine
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Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots

Written by Jan on April 22, 2009 – 9:11 am

Syringes with blood dropWhen vaccinating our dogs, most of us rely on our vets, trusting that their advice is up-to-date and not biased by economic or political concerns.  Unfortunately,  unless vets stay current on veterinary journal reading (no easy task) … and actually assimilate new findings … and decide to forgo significant vaccination income, their advice may lag well behind many years behind what experts now advocate.

Vaccination is a serious medical procedure with the potential for adversely affecting health, both in the short and long term. Experts now advise us to vaccinate each dog according to his or her individual needs.  But  how do you cut back without endangering your dog’s health?  Here are 10 ways to eliminate unnecessary shots while actually improving pet health.

1. Always consider locale, lifestyle, risk and vaccine effectiveness. Bordetella (kennel cough) is for dogs in poorly-ventilated close quarters (like kennels), not for pets sometimes playing with others. Leptospirosis is a disease of wetlands and woodlands, and the vaccine may not protect against the actual disease in your area. Lyme is only for dogs in areas with Lyme disease. Furthermore, each of these vaccines has dangerous side effects and their efficacy is questionable. Don’t give them without proven need and benefit.

2. Eliminate vaccines on the “not recommended” list of the American Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Task Force as well as most veterinary organizations and schools. These include Giardia and Coronavirus (found in many combination shots).

3. Say no! to combination shots. Combo shots (called names like DHLPPC) assault your dog’s immune system with five or seven vaccines at once. Given for (false) economy and convenience rather than health or safety, combination shots are linked to autoimmune disease and other major health problems. Also, they invariably contain unnecessary and even dangerous vaccines.

4. Stop vaccinating against diseases for which your dog may already have immunity. Read more »

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Tags: adverse reactions, bad reactions, distemper, dog, dogs, kennel cough, parvovirus, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, shots, side effects, titer testing, vaccinate, vaccinating, Vaccination, vaccine, vet, veterinarian
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