While most puppy vaccines come in the form of an injection, one of the vaccines your vet may recommend for your little one comes in the form of a nasal spray, administered it directly into Fido's nostrils. This intranasal vaccine is used to protect your pup from several types of viruses and bacteria that can result in a condition commonly known as kennel cough.
Kennel cough is a form of infectious bronchitis that affects your pup's wind pipe and bronchi, the branches of the wind pipe that lead to the dog's lungs. The most common cause of the condition is a type of bacteria known as Bordetella bronchiseptica, although other organisms, including the parainfluenza virus, adenovirus and mycoplasma, can cause kennel cough or act as secondary infectious agents. All of these organisms are highly contagious and typically spread by both direct contact with infected dogs and indirect contact with the objects they've touched. Once infected with kennel cough, your poor pup will experience a persistent cough that usually lasts seven to 21 days, according to petMD.
The Intranasal Vaccine
Two types of vaccine are available to help prevent kennel cough or at least lessen the severity of its symptoms in your pup. One is available as a subcutaneous injection and the other is administered through the nose in the form of a nasal spray or nasal drops. Your vet can administer the intranasal vaccine to your pup at as young as 3 weeks of age to provide him with protection from the main agents that cause kennel cough, usually within four to five days of the vaccination, according to VeterinaryPartner.com. The intranasal vaccine, depending on the formulation, usually protects your pup against the bordetella bacteria, parainfluenza and adenovirus.
The intranasal vaccine against kennel cough typically provides your pup with protection from the infectious agents that cause the condition for up to 12 months, according to the Cedar Park Animal Clinic. If you plan on boarding your pup, attending puppy kindergarten or enrolling him in doggie day care, your vet or the facility may recommend boosting the vaccine again if more than six months has passed since your little one's last vaccination. This will provide Fido with extra immunity in a situation whereby infection is more likely, especially since a dog can shed infectious agents like bordetella bacteria for up to three months after becoming symptom-free.
Kennel cough can be treated with antibiotics and veterinary cough suppressants, but it can affect puppies more severely than healthy adult dogs. The vaccine will protect your pup against many of the primary causes of kennel cough, a condition that can result in more serious conditions like pneumonia but not against all of them. According to the Northland Spay/Neuter website, the kennel cough vaccine can cause coughing, sneezing or nasal discharge in some pups for three to 10 days after administration. Because the intranasal kennel cough vaccine isn't considered a core vaccine by the American Animal Hospital Association, you should ask your vet if your pup needs it based on his health and environment.
By Susan Paretts
petMD: Kennel Cough: An In-Depth Look
VeterinaryPartner.com: Kennel Cough
2ndChance.info: Kennel Cough in Your Dog
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Kennel Cough
Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital: Kennel Cough Vaccine -- Bordatella -- Rochester MN
Dogs Naturally Magazine: Bordetella: Does Your Dog Really Need the Kennel Cough Vaccine?
Cedar Park Animal Clinic: Kennel Cough
Northland Spay/Neuter: Vaccinations and Tests
American Animal Hospital Association: 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Vaccinations
About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.