Published in the July 2002 issue of:
Brit Business
page 6 and 7
Canine Bordetella

First of all it should go without mentioning, but I'll say it anyway, the unwavering, unconditional love and eagerness to please our wonderful Brittany's give us all as Brittany owners. Whether we are breeders, hunter, show, trial, test and or companion owners. Obviously as Brittany people we know the Brittany is the most incredible all round dog. Show, field and family all in one incredible package. With this commitment comes and unconditional responsibility to ensure the health of our dogs. After all, they can't always tell us what's wrong. With that said I bring this information to your attention.

Canine Bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough. Was traditionally thought to be a problem only caused by over crowded and unclean Humane Societies, Animal Control facilities, boarding kennels and puppy mills. Let it be known it is critical for a dog's overall health not to be in an overcrowded unclean facility. There should be control on the size of kennel runs, the number of dogs in each run, lots of fresh air and exercise.

But, unfortunately Bordetella is no longer the problem of just the above mentioned situations. Bordetella is now become widespread among the general population of dogs. Dogs that have "never" been in a boarding kennel or in any other high risk situations are contracting the highly contagious Bordetella. Dogs that are run in fields, go hiking, walk the neighborhood with their owners are contracting Bordetella in record numbers.

Bordetella is a bacterial infection of the respiratory system of dogs. It is characterized by severe coughing, gagging, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and pneumonia. The incubation period is 6 to 10 days. Treatment consists of antibiotics and cough suppressants. The problem with Bordetella is the bacterial infection. There could be several dozen strains and types of bacteria present. The antibiotics might kill 99% of the bacteria. But that 1% is resistant to the antibiotics, and it multiplies. Over time and over use of antibiotics bacteria changes and becomes resilient to medications. There are some bacteria that cannot be fought off with antibiotics. Can a dog die from this? Yes! Or it could take months and hundreds of dollars treating your dog. Your dog's respiratory system may be permanently damaged. Let's not forget to mention all the dogs your dog could have infected.

So what do you do? Immunize! Immunizing will prevent 90% of all cases of Bordetella. Use only the intranasal (nose drop) vaccine annually. It is more effective than the subcutaneous (needle) vaccine. Make this part of your regular yearly vaccine series. It doesn't cost much. And, the benefits far out-way the alternative. I truly don't believe in over-vaccinating. But for our wonderful dogs that can't tell us who or what they've been sniffing, I'll always choose the preventative route.

For the Love of Brittanys
Written by:
Shelley Grant, certified Veterinary Assistant
Ataboy Reg'd Kennels