Blood antibody titer testing (a simple blood test) is the best way to determine if an animal or human has received immunity from vaccination. (Just giving a vaccine proves only that you’ve given it, not that it worked.)
Testing your pup after her “puppy shots” tells you if immunity was achieved, potentially eliminating unnecessary revaccination. (Remember, every vaccine brings with it the potential for adverse reactions, ranging from a fever to even death.) Testing a new adult dog, or a dog with unknown vaccination history, helps determine if further vaccination is necessary and tells you which vaccines, if any, to give. In the US, most experts recommend testing for parvovirus and distemper. Most other vaccines are either unnecessary in many areas or don’t confer immunity long enough to bother testing. At this time, titer testing is NOT a legal substitute for rabies vaccination.
If your vet doesn’t test titers as a routine matter before revaccinating, or if the cost is prohibitive, I hope you’ll tell your vet about a new inexpensive, quick in-office test. I am writing about it for information purposes only hoping it will help promote titer testing before routine revaccination. I do not profit financially from this new test. — Jan
To learn more about testing titers, including how often to test and why it is often safer and less expensive than revaccinating, read my article about titer testing. Upcoming is a short article sent to me by Biogal, the maker of the new test, the Canine VacciCheck. Test kits are available for dogs, cats and birds.
Titer Testing Can Assist in Avoiding Core Vaccine Over Vaccination
Although most veterinarians agree vaccines are necessary to prevent serious canine and feline infectious diseases, the frequency in which pets are vaccinated is debated.
Why does this matter? Although vaccines are largely safe for healthy animals, adverse reactions, both minor and serious, do occur. This is particularly bad when vaccines were given unnecessarily because the animal didn’t need the vaccine in the first place.
It is known that dogs, after vaccination, often maintain protective antibody to the important core diseases Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Distemper for three or more years. Blood studies have shown immunity for seven years or more. But how do we know that the antibody levels of our pets through vaccination are adequate?
Titer Testing to Determine Duration of Immunity (DOI)
Duration of immunity refers to the length of time an animal is able to resist disease.
Blood antibody tests can be used to demonstrate the DOI after vaccination for many vaccines, including all the core vaccines. When antibodies are present there should be no need to revaccinate the dog or cat for the specific disease tested. If antibody titer is absent, some vets believe a previously vaccinated dog should be revaccinated unless there is a medical basis for not so doing so. Studies have shown, however, that a dog that has had it’s “puppy shots” is likely immune for many years, even for life.
Previously, a significant drawback in performing antibody tests was the cost and the time to obtain results, as it required sending blood or serum to a lab. Consequently, many pets were unnecessarily needlessly vaccinated in the interest of time and money. . Times have changed.
A Concept Change in Titer Testing
The Canine VacciCheck is a rapid, simple, reliable and cost-effective antibody test useful in determining if a dog requires additional vaccination. It can also help determine the vaccination status of a dog with unknown vaccination history or help determine if puppies or kittens have developed immunity from vaccination.
What is also unique about the VacciCheck is that it s test provides a simultaneous result developed for all three core vaccines per test, and results are received within 20 minutes. Veterinary clinics and, shelters and therefore have a quick and simple in-office test that can be performed at a reasonable cost to the pet owner.
In the past, even though there was an intention by many pet owners and /or veterinarians to carry out titer testing for core vaccines as opposed toinstead of automatically revaccinating, the price of a titer test when compared to a vaccination was often prohibitive.
ThereforeAs a result, wWith thea price factor lessened via the use of the VacciCheck, veterinarians can send ‘annual health check’ reminders instead of Vaccination reminder cards for vaccines.
The ‘annual health check’ moves the emphasis from, and client expectation of, annual revaccination, thus saving the client money and eliminating adverse reactions from unnecessary vaccination.
Read what world renowned canine vaccination expert Dr. Ron Schultz wrote about this product.
Another article on vaccination that may be of interest:
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 8 Comments » Email This Post