It’s just one more month till the holiday season arrives, also known as December. Many owners will be leaving their dogs at boarding places or getting their dogs groomed to look pretty for the holiday.

Despite how well the boarding or grooming places, it is still important to understand and prevent one of the highly contagious viruses at boarding locations: Bordetella.

Bordetella is a bacterial disease that causes inflammation of the respiratory system in dogs. It is highly contagious among dogs, as such, this bacteria is very prominent in locations that have a high density of dogs. For example, dog parks, boarding locations, and grooming facilities. Bordetella is transmitted via two methods.

The first method is through direct contact with an infected dog. A simple action of “saying hi” and sniffing each other will transmit Bordetella between the two dogs. Furthermore, Bordetella is also airborne. This means that this bacterial disease is transmitted through the air. If an infected dog has been in a room and then another unvaccinated dog goes into the room, even without the infected dog present; there is a very high chance that the unvaccinated dog gets infected by Bordetella. Due to being airborne and direct contact for its transmission method, it makes Bordetella highly contagious as a bacteria.

The symptoms for Bordetella are very simple, the dog will have a dry cough and may also throw up some phlegm if the disease is not treated for a period of time. When their throat is stimulated, it will cause even more coughing for the dog. Since the main symptom for this disease is coughing, it gains its alternative name “kennel cough”. To treat Bordetella, antibiotics will need to be given to the dog and the dog will also have to be isolated from all other dogs to prevent transmission. Having your dog inhale steam, such as when you are in the shower, will also help relieve some irritating of the throat and thus minimize the coughing symptoms.

Bordetella is one of the contagious diseases a dog can get and as a result, many boarding and grooming places require dogs to be vaccinated before admission to their location. It is a long process of isolation for the dog if they do get infected by Bordetella and thus it is important to vaccinate your dog for Bordetella if they are to go into high-density areas with dogs.

by Alwin Chan