The bordetella vaccine provides protection against infection with Bordetella bronchiseptica, a highly contagious species of bacteria that can cause kennel cough. The vaccine is given either by injection or by squirting it into the dog's nose.
Kennel cough describes a number of different contagious diseases that cause coughing among dogs. The bordetella vaccine protects against infection with one of the more common causes of kennel cough. Dogs who spend time in kennels, daycare situations or other social situations are likely to contract kennel cough unless vaccinated.
In healthy dogs, kennel cough is generally a mild self-limiting illness. However, in dogs with underlying health issues, it can result in serious illness and even death.