Bordetella

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs.

Facts

  • It is one of several organisms included on a short list* of bacteria and viruses that cause canine infectious bronchitis/tracheitis or canine cough.
  • It can infect dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and rarely humans.

Transmission

  • It is airborne- from coughing or sneezing of an infected dog
  • It also is transmitted by direct contact (i.e. sharing feeding bowls, bedding)
  • Incubation period (the time of exposure until displaying symptoms) is around 14 days

Clinical Symptoms

  • Hacking, honking, and/or gagging cough
  • Has also been described as having something “stuck in the throat”
  • Occasional discharge from the nose
  • Possible fever
  • Possible lethargy

Diagnosis

  • Usually based on clinical signs
  • Also based on history of possible exposure

Treatment

  • In most cases, no treatment is needed.
  • Antibiotics and cough suppressants may be prescribed
  • Use a harness instead of a collar. This prevents irritation to already sensitive trachea

Prevention

  • Though please note that if a dog is already incubating the bacterium the vaccine will not prevent infection.

*Other cases of canine cough may be caused by Canine Adenovirus Type 2, Canine Influenza, and Parainfluenza

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