Does Your Chihuahua Need a Bordetella Vaccine?

You never know what you may catch in a social situation.

I was just given a reprieve today from my vet and I will opt out of getting a bordetella vaccination. The question is, is this vaccine really necessary? Opinions differ. My opinion is no.

The bordetella vaccine prevents kennel cough, a bacteria that is spread through the air (yikes). It is recommended if your dog socializes with other dogs whose histories are questionable. But if your dog mostly stays at home and avoids dog parks, kennels and the groomer, this vaccine is probably unnecessary (consult your own vet, don’t take my biased opinion).

As an aside, I don’t see any reason for boarding your dog in a kennel. It’s lonely, uncomfortable and scary. You’re usually placed in a small, enclosed space without any of your familiar smells and belongings. No toys, no blankie, no chewy. And lots of strangers and other dogs who bark and whine. Ah, but I digress.

Keep in mind that the bordetella vaccine has side effects which could be worse than the kennel cough itself. This includes hives, nausea, diarrhea or even death! Can you imagine dying from a vaccine. I shudder at the thought. Also the vaccine only lasts about 6 months and may not cover every strain. So you could get the vaccine and still get kennel cough. My daddy’s Chihuahua before me got really sick from the bordetella nasal spray. Ugh.

Check out “Information on Bordetella Vaccination for Dogs” from eHow for much more information on this vaccine. And don’t forget to ask your vet what they recommend for your own particular dog.

Update (1/18/11): Are pets being over vaccinated? Be informed before you visit your vet.

What’s your opinion?

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