kennel cough american bully bulldogs

Can Dogs That Have Been Vaccinated Still Get Kennel Cough?

Can Vaccinated Dogs Get Kennel Cough? In short, YES! 


Kennel cough, also known as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD), is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. The most common bacteria behind kennel cough is called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Please keep in mind; Bordetella bronchiseptica is not solely responsible for causing kennel cough; the disease causation is multiple viral and bacterial pathogens attacking cells in the respiratory tract (bacteria) and weakening the dog’s immune system (viral). 

Kennel cough is not age or breed-specific; any dog who comes into contact has a chance of becoming infected, even if vaccinated. However, young puppies, senior dogs, and dogs that are immunocompromised or have other medical conditions are more susceptible to becoming ill and may have a prolonged recovery time. 


Common clinical signs include nasal discharge, sneezing, reverse-sneezing, coughing (the infamous hacking and honking sounds), respiratory distress, fever, lethargy, respiratory tract infections.


Bordetella can be viral and/or bacterial, and the pathogens can spread everywhere. It is imperative to keep your household sanitized because Bordetella bacteria can live on surfaces for up to two full days! Any dog who is contagious touches anything considering that object or surface contaminated. We as owners do not typically look around our place and say to ourselves, ‘”Wow! My dog touched ¾ of the room, and the other ¼ is because he/she has not learned to run on the ceiling yet, and now I have to wipe everything down, immediately.” 

As the owner, you can quickly spread this from one dog to another just by touching them and having it on you, your clothes. You may have touched other numerous objects that we would typically not think to wash more often than not. Dogs transmit this contagion in various ways: through the air, droplets, and direct or in-direct contact.


Airborne: A dog with the virus coughs or barks, expelling aerosol droplets into the air, and any dog(s) nearby has a high probability of breathing in the contagious droplets.  


  • Beds 
  • Blankets
  • Bowls
  • Cloth Surfaces
  • Fence
  • Grass
  • Kennel
  • Toys


  • Boarding kennels 
  • Dog parks 
  • Dog shows
  • Grooming facilities
  • Pet stores
  • Training facilities
  • Veterinary hospital
  • Walks around the neighborhood or town


Veterinarians will provide specialized tests using samples from the nose, eyes, and throat to determine the cause more accurately. Unfortunately, by the time some of us owners decide to take the dog(s) to their vet, the primary causation becomes complicated by secondary infections.

Fortunately, the condition will usually resolve on its own after a few weeks. Still, medication can help shorten their illness duration while fighting off the bacterial infection and suppressing the aggravating cough symptoms. 

During your dog(s) recovery time, you could provide (though not limited to) them a humidifier to help with their breathing, walking your dog with a harness rather than a leash, keeping their stress to a minimum, and allow them to rest. 

If you do not have access to a humidifier, the shower can be a great substitute. Start your shower on hot and leave running. The condensation will help open up your dog’s airway and help with breathing. If your mirrors are fogging up- you’re doing it right.


The Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is available; some may call it the Bordetella shot or kennel cough vaccine. There are three licensed ways to deliver the Bordetella vaccine to dogs: orally, intranasally, and subcutaneously. Please be mindful that it can take up to 72 hours after the vaccination was allocated for the efficacy to set in. 

Remember, vaccinations help circumvent things, vaccinations are not a cure-all, and we must still take appropriate precautions to keep our dogs safe.  Please help keep your dog safe by keeping up with their age-appropriate vaccinations. Ensuring your dog is healthy, you are also protecting many other dogs from potentially becoming sick.


This highly infectious bacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. There are injectable and nasal spray vaccines available.

If you plan on boarding your puppy in the future, attending group training classes, or using dog daycare services, often proof of this vaccination will be a requirement.

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as Bordetella or Kennel Cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection. When a dog contracts Kennel Cough, they develop a persistent, dry cough that sounds like they are trying to get something out of their throat. While infected dogs will eat, drink, and otherwise act normally, the cough will worsen with exercise or excitement. This infection can also make dogs more susceptible to secondary infections that can be even more serious.

In dogs, B. bronchiseptica causes acute tracheobronchitis,[10] which typically has a harsh, honking cough. Kennel cough can also be caused by canine adenovirus-2 or canine parainfluenza virus or a combination of pathogens

Viral infections such as canine parainfluenza or canine coronavirus are only spread for roughly one week following recovery;[5] however, respiratory infections involving B. bronchiseptica can be transmissible for several weeks longer.


Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious respiratory disease, formerly canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is an upper respiratory infection affecting dogs.[1] There are multiple causative agents, the most common being the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica (found in 78.7% of cases in Southern Germany), followed by canine parainfluenza virus (37.7% of cases), and to a lesser extent canine coronavirus (9.8% of cases).[2] It is highly contagious;[3] however adult dogs may display immunity to reinfection even under constant exposure.[4] Kennel cough is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs in the close quarters of a kennel or animal shelter.

Viral and bacterial causes of canine cough are spread through airborne droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. These agents also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. Symptoms begin after a several day incubation period post-exposure,[3] and in most cases will clear up on their own. However, in young puppies or immunocompromised animals, mixed or secondary infections can progress to lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia.[5]

The incubation period is 5–7 days (with a range of 3–10).[5] Symptoms can include a harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting in response to light pressing of the trachea or after excitement or exercise. The presence of a fever varies from case to case. If your dog has been vaccinated and gets kennel cough, they should recover much faster than in dogs who have not been vaccinated. 



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