By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Even though summer is waning, many pet owners are either dropping the dog off at a kennel or picking it up again, and may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Hours after my dogs Baby and Ajax got home, they looked like they were choking. Kennel cough, we were told by the vet. Give them antibiotics and decongestants.

This is kennel cough season, says Dr. Leslie King of the ICU in Penn’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital, and many kennels, including ours, require vaccination for bordetella.

Dr. King says it’s not as solid a preventative as with the rabies vaccine.

“Those respiratory vaccines, all of them they don’t completely prevent disease. We should think of them as reducing the severity of disease rather than completely preventing it, but that can be very valuable,” explains Dr. King.

Additionally, there are several strains of respiratory ailments, both viral and bacterial, and canine influenza to add to the mix. Dr. King recommends the vaccinations, as long as you adjust your expectations.

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