What is Bordetella?
Bordetella, commonly known as kennel cough, is a tricky virus; it is primarily airborne and typically very contagious to dogs that have not been properly inoculated against it. There are many different strains of Bordetella and the typical Bordetella inoculation does not provide protection against all strains. Furthermore, similar to the flu vaccine for humans, Bordetella inoculations do not have 100% efficacy, so even properly vaccinated dogs can contract the virus.
An infected and contagious dog can go several days without showing any symptoms while actively shedding the virus and infecting other dogs in the area. Because the contagious dog first appears healthy, it is almost impossible to determine where the virus originated. The good news is that Bordetella is generally nothing more than a bad cold and most dogs recover in a short period without any long term compromise to their health and well-being.