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What is Bordetella?

What is Bordetella?

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is associated with respiratory disease in dogs. It is one of the components of the canine infectious respiratory complex, sometimes referred to as kennel cough, upper respiratory infection, or infectious tracheobronchitis. 


Dogs who will be in areas where they may come into contact with other dogs (e.g. doggy day care, the groomers, the dog park, boarding facilities) are more likely to come into contact with this bacterium and develop signs of an upper respiratory infection. Clinical signs of an upper respiratory infection include sneezing, nasal discharge, congestion, coughing, etc. If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, it is important to isolate your dog from other dogs and contact your veterinarian right away. 


There are bordetella vaccines available for dogs which can lessen the severity of disease and can even prevent infection altogether. This vaccine is an optional vaccine, not a core vaccine. Your veterinarian can help you determine whether this vaccine is appropriate for your dog. The bordetella vaccine, along with the core vaccines, is offered at our vaccine clinics at both the Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, and Green Bay locations.

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