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Published on Nov 7, 2010
"Kennel cough" is an infectious bronchitis characterized by a harsh, hacking cough which most people describe as sounding like "something stuck in my dog's throat." It is analogous to a chest cold for humans and is only a serious condition in special circumstances; in general, it resolves on its own. A dog with Kennel Cough generally feels active and maintains a normal appetite despite frequent fits of coughing. There is usually no fever or listlessness, just lots of coughing.
The Bordetella vaccine is administered to dogs to prevent kennel cough and is recommended if your dog will be socializing with other dogs. Kennel cough will rarely lead to death, but the vaccine can prevent breakouts of the infection, and it can lessen the worry of owners. The vaccination is given two ways, and it's usually grouped with other vaccinations and given in multiple doses over time to gradually build up your dog's immunity. There is a fringe group of people who claim that the vaccine is overused and actually quite harmful to dogs.