There is much confusion around the Kennel Cough vaccine. The vaccine can be referred to as Canine Cough, Bordetella, or Kennel Cough. The term ‘Kennel Cough’ refers to a group of contagious symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and not one particular illness. While most veterinarians use a multivalent vaccine that offers protection from the bacteria Bordetella, as well as viruses parainfluenza and adenovirus, there are additional viruses and bacteria that can cause canine cough symptoms that the vaccine does not cover!
It is upsetting when your dog contracts an upper respiratory cough even after vaccination. It is possible that your dog may have come into a different contagious germ that the vaccine did not cover. Keep in mind that if the infection was a virus, antibiotics may not have offered much treatment, but probably addressed or prevented a secondary bacterial infection. The good news is the far majority of upper respiratory coughs are very mild and pups recover quickly, similar to the common cold in pet parents.
Can a dog who was recently vaccinated shed a live virus immediately after vaccination? The answer is: not really. According to Dr. Antje Joslin, it is possible for a dog to shed the modified version of the virus but it will not cause infectious disease in another animal. There are two main types of vaccinations; killed and modified-live vaccines and both types of vaccines have pros and cons. At Dogtopia, we ask that dogs wait a minimum of 48 hours after a vaccination before returning to Dogtopia to allow the dog’s immune system to respond to the vaccine and to safe guard against any potential (and rare) vaccine reaction.