Puppy Vaccinations

Q – Two weeks after purchasing our new Bully, Max from you we took him to the Vet for another booster shot. Our Vet recommended that in addition to the booster that we give him a Nasal Bordetella vaccine. 4-5 days after receiving the vaccine, Max began to cough and several days later developed Pneumonia to the tune of $1500 in Vet bills. Thinking back I remember that you said NOT to give him a Bordetella vaccination of any kind. Unfortunately I chose to take the Vets advice instead of yours. Our Vet said it was just a common Bulldog respiratory issue and had nothing to do with the shot. What are your thoughts?

The BIGBULLDOG: I can tell you from experience the following; Initially each of my Bulldog puppies received a Nasal Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccine called Intra Track 3 by Schering Plough Animal Health at 6 weeks of age according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 50 percent of the time my Bullies would develop some sort of cough within 5 days. Of that 50 percent, 5-10 percent would end up with pneumonia. I used to think that it was just common Bulldog respiratory issues that happen and I could expect a percentage of each litter to end up with a cold/ cough etc….. I never connected it with the Bordetella vaccine until one of my partner breeders told me that was the problem.

I went back and forth with Schering Ploughs Vets and they never conceded that their product caused this. Therefore I decided to do another test study of my own. I administered the vaccine to 16 totally healthy Bulldog Puppies as well as 1 of my lucky adult Frenchies according to manufacturer’s instructions. What do you think happened? I ended up with 16 coughing, hacking baby Bulldogs and one adult Frenchie that I had to medically treat for the next 2 weeks. It is possible that I had a bad batch of vaccines. However this is the policy that I have adopted. Under no circumstances do any of my puppies receive a Nasal Bordetella shot while under my care. It is up to the puppy’s new owner and their Vet to decide if they wish to give it to Bully. One last thing. Our upper respiratory issues have decreased approx. 90% since we stopped giving the Nasal Bordetella Vaccine.

However, in order to publicly kennel your Bully, it is required that they must be up to date on all required shots including Bordetella. If you must give Bully a Bordetella vaccine, it has been told to me that you should do it by means of an injection rather than the nasal application. It has also been demonstrated to me by other Bulldog breeders that if you give it at 4 weeks old then no problems will occur. Either way, it scares me to death to administer a Bordetella vaccine to a Bulldog and I do not recommend them.