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I am planning on fostering a dog who is in a kennel that is

currently closed for 2 weeks...
I am planning on fostering a dog who is in a kennel that is currently closed for 2 weeks because of a kennel cough outbreak. I have two 10 year old Rottweiler dogs who I haven't vaccinated against kennel cough for several years and am now worried about them getting it. I am concerned that being older they can get complications like pneumonia. Yet, I already committed to foster this dog (the dog has been evaluated as a potential service dog and I will help train him) so I don't want to give it up! Is there anything I can do to prevent my older dogs from getting it? I plan to keep them in separate areas, but at night they will sleep in their own crates in my bedroom. Should I cancel the fostering?
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, if fostering this dog at a later date, how long will I have to wait for the dog to stop shedding the virus/bacteria? And are older dogs more susceptible to getting pneumonia? I hear it's just like a cold, and can go untreated but then some website say that untreated it can lead to pneumonia.
Answered in 12 hours by:
9/15/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,221
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, you can still vaccinate your dogs and using an intranasal or oral vaccine may provide quicker immunity. Pneumonia is not commonly seen in association with the kennel cough complex - at any age. Pneumonia is more of a risk with canine influenza. I rarely treat adult dogs with kennel cough because the great majority of them normalize within 1-3 weeks unaided.

The infectious agents of the complex can be shed for many weeks and months. Practically speaking, keeping infected dogs quarantined for a couple of weeks following resolution of clinical signs is reasonable. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Good to hear that pneumonia is not so common. My main concern is pneumonia or other complication to my dogs. I am a worry worm. I could never forgive myself if something serious happened to them because of a disease from another dog I am fostering. I would vaccinate but they are old and I worry about vaccines at their age due to reading many horror stories, and from what I understand even the vaccinated dogs can get bordetella anyhow, or at least get it in a lighter form.My dogs had all their vaccine boosters as pups and were vaccinated last time 4 years ago as we had to travel (rabies was given 3 years ago, (I will discuss if I can get a waiver for it this year with my vet).It is my understanding the the parvo/distemper combo lasts many more years that thought and even possibly a life time. Just like us who are vaccinated during childhood once...I think there are alalso studies backing this up.The dogs fostered are also vaccinated for most of these diseases so I am not too worried about these..Bordetella instead it is my understanding requires more frequent vaccination as it doesn't last long and is non-core vaccine so not all dogs fostered are vaccinated for this.Would it be bad not to vaccinate my dogs? I am not fostering this dog for now, I cancelled due to concerns, but will foster in another few days a dog that is coming from the kennel with the outbreak but was vaccinated for kennel cough. Since this dog has been there already several days, hopefully the dog would have showed symptoms and therefore can be assumed to not have contracted it.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, forgot to ask, do only dogs who get the disease shed the bacteria for weeks or months, or also dogs who do not get it?

You're correct. The "kennel cough" vaccines aren't completely protective. I don't vaccinate dogs 8 years or older unless there's a significant risk (e.g., leptospirosis) or rabies vaccine is mandated where you live. The incubation period for the kennel cough complex is 3-10 days and so this new dog coming to you isn't out of the woods quite yet. Yes, subclinical carriers of these infectious agents can shed them.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
OK thanks. Nice to hear a vet who isn't pushing vaccines in elderly dogs! I guess I would then have keep this dog separated from my dogs then until he is past 10 days and never share bowls, blankets etc for risk of fomite exposure. Maybe though the fact that this dog is vaccinated the chances are a little more slim.1) pros and cons of bordetella vaccine, is it therefore worth it to get it considering my situation that my dogs are Rotteweilers and they are already quite old at 10, considering that most kennel cough doesn't lead to pneumonia, considering that most dogs I will be fostering are vaccinated against kennel cough, considering that my dog are never boarded or go to the dog park, considering that by the age of 10 my dogs likely have a good immunity to it, and considering that one of my dogs hates going to the vet and screams like being killed, when given shots? however I guess we can do the intranasal one.2) I see that your protocol is to not vaccinate dogs over the age of 8 unless significant or mandated by law, so I am guessing bordetella like the other shots avoided is something that can be risky for an elderly dog, or just not necessary considering it being a self-limiting condition or the dog is already quite immune to it by that age? or perhaps you would recommend it if the dog is over 8 and exposed to other dogs coming from a shelter?2) I understand bordetella vaccine can be given intranasally, not sure if this would be can be bothersome to my dog who hates shots, but can perhaps I muzzle my dog when given, just in case or will it interfere with proper administration? It's not a basket muzzle, just a fabric muzzle. Is the shot fast to give and does it startle the dog?4) I boarded once a dog that got the intranasal and developed coughing for almost his whole stay for 2 weeks. I would hate for this to happen. It's my understanding that this sometimes happens, but it's not really the disease but just an immune response. Any way to prevent this? thanks

If you're going to continue fostering, your dogs are at risk and should be vaccinated every 6 months against the kennel cough complex. There's a new oral vaccine that's a piece of cake to administer. Muzzling doesn't affect efficacy but why bother with an injection at all when it would be easier if you were given the syringe to squirt into your dog's mouth?

It's a non-core vaccine but, once again, your fostering puts your dogs at an increased risk and so they should be vaccinated against the kennel cough complex. Immunity is not long-lasting even after active infection much less vaccination.

Yes, by avoiding the nasal vaccine.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,221
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
That's very interesting, thanks!

You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.

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