Side effects of the Bordetella Shot

Sep 10, 2019 | Pet Health, Pets

We recently got Jake and Maggie’s shots updated (parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, Bordetella, and rabies).  We wanted to not only update their shots but to make sure they had the Bordetella vaccination because we will be taking them to Therapy Training and possibly Day Care.  I have never had a problem with any of my dogs experiencing any side effects until our sweet Jake started coughing this week.

I was so concerned that I made an appointment for him today and after talking to the vet and going over Jake’s history, I was told he was having side effects to getting his Bordetella shot last week!!!  My poor little guy has had runny eyes, nose, bouts of diarrhea, and was coughing!


“I was trying to make the bed but Jake had other plans”.  “Poor guy just wanted to be near me because he wasn’t feel himself”. 

The Bordetella vaccine is a non-core vaccine that is administered to both dogs and cats that are frequently exposed to other pets. Bordetella bronchiseptica, also known as kennel cough, is a bacterium that can cause upper respiratory tract disease in dogs. What I did not know is that there are side effects to getting the shot.  There is controversy surrounding the Bordetella vaccine because many believe it is not necessary as most cases of kennel cough can be easily treated with simple cold medication, while others may go away on their own.  You have to consider your daily routine, being around other dogs, and boarding your pet.  Honestly, my way of thinking is…why take any chances????

The most common facilities include the following:

  • Doggie daycare centers
  • Boarding Kennels
  • Dog and cat shows
  • Dog parks
  • Training classes
  • Professional groomers

    “I took this Sunday morning as the sun was coming up”.  “Jake is in his favorite position on his daddy’s lap”.  “The sun was coming through our entry way in front of the house and creating a rainbow over both of them”.  “Love it”!!!  

In my conversation with my vet, I found that dogs start to experience symptoms between 5 to 7 days after receiving the shot and can last between 3 to 10 days.  This makes sense because Jake and Maggie got their shots last Tuesday night and Jake started coughing Sunday night.  I noticed he has been extra clingy to me with wanting a lot of attention.  I’m sure it is because he hasn’t been feeling 100%.  His coughing has stopped but I’m keeping an eye on him and paying him extra special attention.

Side Effects And Risks Associated With Dog Vaccinations

  • Fever.
  • Sluggishness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Facial or paw swelling and/or hives.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Pain or swelling around the injection site.
  • Collapse, difficulty breathing, and seizures (anaphylactic shock).
  • Coughing.

“My sweet Maggie”. “She just tore up her scarf and then gave me this look”.  “Love our Sunday mornings!”

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, here are some guidelines on how often the Bordetella vaccine or kennel cough vaccine should be given to your dog:

  • Puppies can be given the intranasal Bordetella vaccine as early as three weeks old; a second follow-up dose should be given up to four weeks later
  • Puppies can be given the injectable Bordetella vaccine starting at six to eight weeks of age, and a booster at ten to twelve weeks
  • Kittens can be given the vaccine as early as eight weeks old
  • Dogs or puppies at least 16 weeks old can receive the intranasal vaccine once and the injectable vaccine twice
  • Cats or kittens at least 16 weeks old can be given a single dose of the intranasal vaccine with annual boosters
  • Dogs should receive the Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine every six months up to a year, depending on the level of exposure
Does your cat need it? – Feline Bordetella Vaccine and the answer is YES.

“This is a picture of my sister’s cats – Wilber on the left, Piggy on the right, and Binky in the middle”.  “Love these little fur balls!!”

Now that we know that kennel cough is highly contagious and is commonly transmitted between dogs in social atmospheres, is it necessary for cats?

  • Cats and kittens can catch what is known as Feline Bordetella.
  • According to Cornell University, Feline Bordetella is incredibly similar to the feline herpesvirus or feline calicivirus.
  • This disease is incredibly common and contagious among cats. It involves an upper respiratory infection that often causes symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and a mild fever.
  • Therefore, the feline Bordetella vaccine may be necessary for your cat or kitten, especially if he or she spends a lot of time with other animals.
  • However, similar to dogs, Bordetella doesn’t affect all cats and kittens.
  • With that being said, elderly cats are at the highest risk of catching the disease.
  • Most vets do not administer the Feline Bordetella vaccine as part of a cat’s annual routine check-up. Therefore, you may want to ask your vet about whether or not your kitty will benefit from the vaccine.

“It’s rare that I can get Jake and Maggie to both focus at the same time when I’m taking a picture of them but here is one that I was able to capture and wanted to share”.  

The one thing I definitely remembered my vet saying was that he discourages dog owners from getting the shot and immediately putting their dog into daycare or boarding them.  It’s important for pet owners to avoid exposing their dog to other dogs in a kennel or a daycare center for at least five days following the vaccine.

This allows the vaccine to pump through the dog’s body, adding a layer of protection before the dog comes into contact with another possibly infected canine.  Plus we have to consider the side effects the dogs might experience and while being boarded and away from their owners no less.  

The Bordetella Vaccine shot is affordable for all pet owners.  We paid $140.00 for both Jake and Maggie for shots and checkup.  

​According to the PetCareRX website, Vaccinations are immunity-boosting shots that protect pets from certain diseases and conditions. Veterinarians recommend a set of core vaccines for every dog and cat, and beyond that, a number of “non-core” vaccines are also available for pets living in certain locations or conditions. But what will it all cost? Here we’ll look at what you should expect to see for pet vaccination costs of regular vaccine sets for puppies and kittens, as well as the additional “non-core” vaccines.

Costs will always vary depending on your geographic location and if you choose to go to a low-cost clinic or veterinarian.

Check out this informative website at:

The list was just so long to include in this post but seriously, check it out!!  

I would like to thank Dr. Pensenstadler and Dr. Brown for taking such good care of my Jake and Maggie.  They and their staff are always a welcome face and patiently answer all of my question and concerns.  So, again, thank you!

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