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View Full Version : Kennel cough in dogs (Bordetella)



citymouse
02-12-2009, 04:17 PM
I have a question.
Here is what I know: Bordetella is contagious. There is no cure. It must run its course. Secondary infections are treated with antibiotics. Adult dogs with healthy immune systems can and do fight it off without symptoms. Puppies are more susceptible to KC. Puppies age at different rates depending on size and breed. In my case I'm talking about 14mo borzoi.

Here is what I'm not sure about: If a dog (14mo borzoi) has KC, and fights it off presumably there are strong antibodies remaining in the system for a while.
Is it then a waste to dose the animal ( w/ INTRA TRAC III) immediately after recovery?
If so how long would one wait to inoculate?
Would inoculation be just as effective in the presence of responding antibodies or would the antibodies neutralize the live vaccine?
Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.
C

DeleyanLee
02-12-2009, 04:49 PM
I don't know the answer, but if it were my dog, I'd be calling my vet and asking her. That's what she went to school for and I pay her to know, after all.

citymouse
02-12-2009, 05:24 PM
DL, thanks for your reply. I have a vet. She saved my oldest bitch from having a toe amputated. My vet is a marvel, however, believe it or not vets don't know everything because animal medicine lags far behind human research. Bird AIDS or wasting syndrome which has been around for years is a prime example. Vet scientists have just discovered the viral mechanism but there is still no remedy.
But I digress. I have 5 borzoi. I show them at AKC events. I dose my own dogs. Yes it's legal. I also have been medicating this bitch with antibiotics for any secondary infections. My other 4 girls are fine since they get KC vaccine regularly from me.

This particular dog was dosed before she was shipped to me. Doses last ~12 months. She should have been good for another month, however, it is possible that the stress of being shipped across the US caused her immune system enough upset that she became susceptible to KC.
I took her to an AKC event just to see how she would be around hundreds of dogs. She was fine but it seems that some jackass brought a sick dog into the building. This is strictly against AKC rules. Clearly my bitch won't be seeing a show ring until she's well. If you know borzoi then you know that lazing on the sofa it just fine by her. LOL

The upshot is I now have a situation. This got me thinking about including it in my WIP but I was wondering about the efficacy of the vaccine in the presence of antibodies. That's all I need to know.
C


I don't know the answer, but if it were my dog, I'd be calling my vet and asking her. That's what she went to school for and I pay her to know, after all.

Puma
02-12-2009, 06:29 PM
Have you tried Google to look for an answer? There's a lot out there on the net. Puma

citymouse
02-12-2009, 07:05 PM
The many articles I've read track antibody levels vs the dosage and time lines from the point of infection but they don't specify if live vaccines administered after infection are attacked by existing antibodies arising from the immune system's natural defenses.

Dosing my bitch isn't a problem. I can do that but there's no use if her responding antibodies are going to defeat the medicine. Of course I can wait a week or so. By then the illness will have passed and I can titer her antibody levels. Then I can dose her. Fortunately Bordetella is one of those illnesses that doesn't hamper appetite or energy levels. Since I toyed with adding this little scene in my WIP I turned to this forum in the hopes someone here had experience with this particular situation. It's no big deal. I can skirt the details. I just like to be as specific as I can.
Thanks,
C

veinglory
02-12-2009, 07:19 PM
Bordetella is delivered nasally and is not known to cause any problems when extra doses are given. It does not work against natural active immunity. I am not a vet and would suggest you should check with one knowledgeable in this area--but to the best of my knowledge there is no down side to giving a precautionary dose.

As my dog socialises with others outside the apartment I keep his bordetella current even when he is not going to a kennel. It is like the common cold for dogs and does get around.

citymouse
02-12-2009, 07:46 PM
Thanks everyone. I'll work around the details.
Best,
M

Carmy
02-13-2009, 04:26 AM
Have you contacted your local humane society? They are the ones who first told me about kennel cough so they may have the answer, because they often don't know the histories of dogs that come under their care.

citymouse
02-13-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks Carmy. That's a good thought. I haven't but I will.
The consensus among some of my show people friends is that dosing before the bout of KC is over won't speed recovery and will most likely prompt the immune system to attack the live vaccine. I hated admitting that I had something so easily preventable among my hounds. It just seems there was a combination of factors that made catching KC in this particular bitch possible. Grrrrrrr.
Thanks again,
C



Have you contacted your local humane society? They are the ones who first told me about kennel cough so they may have the answer, because they often don't know the histories of dogs that come under their care.

veinglory
02-13-2009, 07:28 PM
I tracked down a dog vet I work with -- this is her response.

* The immune system will not attack the vaccine. If the animal has fully recovered the vaccine can be used.
* If the animal is still recovering the immune system will not respond properly and relapse or pneumonia may result, especially in a young animal.
* When fully recovered an animal going to shows should receive both nasal and injected vaccine to optimal coverage.

citymouse
02-13-2009, 07:41 PM
Thanks V. The second comment is the one I suspected and is now confirmed. This is how I'll approach the subject in my story.
Again Thanks.
C


I tracked down a dog vet I work with -- this is her response.

* The immune system will not attack the vaccine. If the animal has fully recovered the vaccine can be used.
* If the animal is still recovering the immune system will not respond properly and relapse or pneumonia may result, especially in a young animal.
* When fully recovered an animal going to shows should receive both nasal and injected vaccine to optimal coverage.

BellaRush
02-22-2009, 07:29 AM
I'm just throwing this around, trying to remember the bit of immunology I learned in school. :) Bordetella is a live vaccine. The premise of vaccination is to mount an immune response on a lesser scale than an actual assault of the disease so that antibodies are created that protect against future disease. That said...the immune system should "attack" the vaccine. If your bitch is still fighting the disease, by administering the vaccine you are further challenging an already challenged immune system, and therefore putting the bitch at risk for secondary infection. That would be my reasoning for not administering the vaccine until she is healthy again.

Like I said, my memory is a bit rusty. Sounds like you've answered the question yourself so this is probably just me trying to worth through the logic!

bonobo_jones
02-22-2009, 04:31 PM
Yes...vaccines of any kind should only be given to healthy animals, so what veinglory and BellaRush said is correct. No responsible vet would give vaccines of any sort to a dog who wasn't in very good health. Also, there are many strains of bordatella, and no vaccine is going to be 100% effective. If you google you'll find that 60-70% effectiveness is probably realistic.

BTW, I do show, and few show/working dog people I know bother staying "current" with the bordatella vax. Actually, I don't know anybody who does. This sort of thing comes up in conversation. I train at two excellent facilities and neither requires this - pretty much all dogs in my classes are competing and showing.

True story: About six years ago, I had four dogs. One had recently come from the shelter and had been vaccinated for everything, including bordatella. Two others (one a little over a year old, the other about five) had recently enrolled at a training facility where one of the requirements was bordatella vax. The fourth dog was an ancient old thing who had been vaccinated for nothing in about three years.
So the five year old dog, despite the vax, came down with bordatella and was hacking all over the house. The other two vaccinated dogs promptly got it as well. The unvaccinated old dog did not get it. This despite the dogs all sharing the same space.

citymouse
02-22-2009, 04:59 PM
Thanks for your response. I do stay current with all my vaccines because I show year round. My WIP is a murder mystery that takes place at a dog show so I'm exploring issues I have encountered and some I've not but heard about.
Thanks again.
C



Yes...vaccines of any kind should only be given to healthy animals, so what veinglory and BellaRush said is correct. No responsible vet would give vaccines of any sort to a dog who wasn't in very good health. Also, there are many strains of bordatella, and no vaccine is going to be 100% effective. If you google you'll find that 60-70% effectiveness is probably realistic.

BTW, I do show, and few show/working dog people I know bother staying "current" with the bordatella vax. Actually, I don't know anybody who does. This sort of thing comes up in conversation. I train at two excellent facilities and neither requires this - pretty much all dogs in my classes are competing and showing.

True story: About six years ago, I had four dogs. One had recently come from the shelter and had been vaccinated for everything, including bordatella. Two others (one a little over a year old, the other about five) had recently enrolled at a training facility where one of the requirements was bordatella vax. The fourth dog was an ancient old thing who had been vaccinated for nothing in about three years.
So the five year old dog, despite the vax, came down with bordatella and was hacking all over the house. The other two vaccinated dogs promptly got it as well. The unvaccinated old dog did not get it. This despite the dogs all sharing the same space.

Leva
02-23-2009, 03:31 AM
Bordatella is a bacterial infection. It's closely related to pertussis (whooping cough) in human, though it's not generally that serious.

In my dogs, which are working dogs, I generally let it run its course. They have a cough and they're sick (at about a "human cold" level of sickness) but unless they run a high fever or seem depressed I don't worry about it. It seems to take about a week to run its course. I vaccinate mine when I need to board them, but don't worry about it otherwise.

If the dog is sick enough to worry you, or if you want to shorten the course of the illness for show purposes, take the dog to the vet. :-) Also, the vet can prescribe rx cough meds to make the dog more comfortable.

99% of the time, bordatella's just a nuisance ... it CAN be serious, as you know, if there's a secondary infection or you have a dog with underlying health problems.

-- Leva