Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:27 AM

Vaccinations for Dogs: Kennel Cough and Rabies


Kennel cough, usually caused by the Bortadella bacterium, can really be a term used to describe any extremely contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs.
Because of this tendency to spread easily to other dogs through aerosol droplets, supportive home care is the usual course of treatment, rather than hospitalization. The disease, which can last up to three weeks, generally exits the acute phase within the first few days and is self-limiting. Symptoms are influenza-like in nature, and complete recovery is the norm.

Vaccinating dogs against this disease is very common. Since, like many other vaccines, the usefulness is questionable and negative side effects occur with some regularity, you might well wonder why it is even necessary. Like the rabies vaccine, politics are responsible for the majority of dog owners getting their dogs inoculated against these two diseases.

In the case of rabies, as we have seen, a serious, usually fatal disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans cannot be overlooked as a public health concern. Legislation in most states requires rabies vaccination in order to license a dog. This is not negotiable, so in order to reduce vaccine-induced reactions, one should try to limit other, not-so-necessary inoculations.

Dog owners will have difficulty avoiding kennel cough vaccination, as well. If you board your dog, this will have to be done if not up-to-date. Otherwise, the kennels will not board your dog. If your dog needs hospitalization, the veterinarian will require the same. Therefore, this is another shot that many dogs receive on a regular basis.

Although you cannot avoid these two inoculations, limit vaccine exposure by choosing against other, unnecessary (and ineffective) vaccinations; avoid getting more than one vaccine inoculation at a time and don't get vaccinations early--wait the full, required time before boostering.

In the near future, I will be discussing homeopathic "nosodes" for immunity to common diseases. Stay tuned.
Chat later!

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Amanda
Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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