Don’t Let Your Vet Vaccinate Blindly: Test Titers

Written by Jan on January 26, 2015 – 11:59 pm

Someone (I’ll call her Ann) wrote me last week asking: Is there any recent info I can pass along to my Vet – he says titres are not reliable and he will not do them.

Yikes. He-will-not-do-them? Titer testing — a simple blood draw to test immunity to a disease — is an absolutely safe procedure. You can test titers (antibody) levels to determine if an animal (or human) already has immunity to particular diseases and doesn’t need “boosters.”  The most commonly tested titers are for parvovirus and distemper, the two most important diseases, and also rabies in certain instances. Don’t waste your money on anything else.

Even if Ann’s vet thinks titer testing is unreliable and a waste of time and money, it is her money and her responsibility to keep her dog healthy. Not his. His job, in this instance, is to draw blood and offer advice if asked. After testing, it is up to Ann to determine the weight to give to the results. She can then allow her vet to vaccinate if he wants. Or not.

Incidentally, Ann could have any vet or vet tech draw blood. She could send the blood sample to a lab (like my favorite, hemopet.org). They’ll perform the test and an expert will interpret the results. From that point on, she can solicit her vet’s input. Or not.

Although most enlightened veterinarians will happily test titers, too many, like Ann’s vet, refuse to test or will belittle results. Others avoid confrontation by charging astronomical rates. A parvovirus/distemper titer test should cost around $50-60; a rabies titer (not for export) should cost around $100. Add to this, around $25 for a blood draw; some tests in some locations may also require a shipping expense. If your vet is charging much more than that, he/she is just trying to discourage (and/or take advantage of) you.

But isn’t vaccinating cheaper than testing? 

Read more »

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Tags: dogs, immunity, test, titer, Vaccination, veterinarian
Posted under Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions, Veterinarians | 8 Comments » | Email This Post

Rabies Vaccine Research — Important (Exciting) News!

Written by Jan on July 18, 2014 – 10:22 am

hyposThe Rabies Challenge Fund is your dog’s best hope of avoiding unnecessary rabies vaccination — thanks to Fund Founders Kris Christine and pioneering veterinarian Dr. W. Jean Dodds.  With principal investigation led by world-renowned vaccination scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, they have been working tirelessly using USDA protocols to prove that the vaccine gives protection for 5, then 7 years, instead of the current 3.

Perhaps even more importantly, they hope to determine a rabies titer standard so that a simple blood test can legally prove immunity. Because there hasn’t been a legal USDA titer standard, blood titer results have not been allowed for licensing purpose. They/we hope to change this.

Thanks to the generosity of dog lovers everywhere, this all-volunteer charitable endeavor is rounding the turn for the home stretch —  but the Fund needs your help to raise the money for the challenge. Two anonymous donors have announced a $12,500 gift to match donations dollar for dollar. Donations up to that amount will in effect be doubled.

I have long been a Friend of the Fund. My beloved Jiggy developed autoimmune liver disease, and ultimately liver and intestinal cancers, after rabies vaccination.  If you doubt the damage that can be done by this vaccine, read the heartbreaking stories at The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects.

Please help us complete this great study. Thanks for any support you can give. — Jan Rasmusen

TWO IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
from the Rabies Challenge Fund

CROSS POSTING URGED!

The Rabies Challenge Fund has just received the commitment from a USDA-approved facility to perform the first of the challenge phases of our 5 and 7-year studies. This rabies research was undertaken to determine, by challenge, the vaccine’s long-term duration of immunity in dogs and to establish the world’s first canine rabies titer standard.

Fees for this first challenge, slated to begin later this year, will involve 15 of the study dogs and will cost $100,000. If successful, two subsequent challenges of 15 dogs each will be conducted in order to meet the USDA rabies vaccine licensing requirements.  These results, which will have been obtained using the same federal standard upon which all currently licensed rabies vaccines and rabies laws and regulations are based, should establish the scientific foundation upon which the legally required rabies booster intervals for dogs can be extended to 5 or 7 years. Further, for the first time, our accumulated rabies titer data should permit incorporating clauses pertaining to rabies titers into the existing laws.

Currently, The Rabies Challenge Fund will need to raise an additional $24,847 to cover the challenge facility fees.  We ask that our donors maintain their generous levels of support through this critical challenge phase, so that the results to benefit all dogs can be available in early 2015.

$12,500 Matching Gift to The Rabies Challenge Fund

Two anonymous dog lovers have announced a generous $12,500 matching  gift to The Rabies Challenge Fund to help raise the additional funds needed to perform the first of the challenge phases of our research. Beginning today, these supporters will match every dollar donated up  to $12,500. Please consider doubling a donation by taking advantage of this charitable gift.

Tax-exempt donations can be made with a credit card here:
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/donate/donate-to-the-fund or mailed to The Rabies Challenge Fund, c/o Hemopet, 11561 Salinaz
Avenue, Garden Grove, CA 92843.

Thank you for your support!

Related Articles

Summary of The Rabies Challenge Fund Duration of Immunity Study
The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
Rabies Vaccination Caution: A Veterinarian Speaks Out
Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?
Vaccination Reactions Can Mimic Disease Symptoms Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details

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Tags: dogs, exemptions, rabies, rabies shots, rabies vaccines
Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination | No Comments » | Email This Post

AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation

Written by Jan on March 26, 2012 – 5:36 pm

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has passed The Annual Rabies Vaccination waiver.  What does it mean?  Kris Christine, Founder of the Rabies Challenge Fund, says: “It will help us in our efforts to get exemption legislation passed!”

I say, it should also provide “cover” to those wonderful veterinarians who fight for our dogs every day.

The AVMA language says: “[The] AVMA recognizes some animals might require a waiver from rabies vaccination because the vaccination poses an unacceptably high risk to the health of the individual animal …. Read more »

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Posted under Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 9 Comments » | Email This Post

New In-Office Titer Test for Dogs: Test Before Revaccinating

Written by Jan on August 11, 2011 – 1:47 pm

 

In-Office Titer Test Kit

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. Read more »

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Tags: antibodies, booster, canine, Canine VacciCheck, dog, dogs, immunity, inexpensive, revaccination, testing blood antibodies, titer test, titer testing, VacciCheck, Vaccination, vaccine reactions, vaccines
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 8 Comments » | Email This Post

Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Written by Jan on September 23, 2010 – 12:01 am

Peaches Displaying Her Rabies Vaccine Reaction

Note: this is an expanded version of an article by Jan Rasmusen previously published by DogsNaturallyMagazine.com

Animal Control sends a notice stating that your dog’s rabies vaccination is due. Some of us will vaccinate readily. Because it’s legally mandated, it must be safe, right? Besides, what choice do we have?

Others of us panic, desperate to avoid the shot at any cost. We remember what happened the last time our dog had a rabies vaccination. We wonder, will our dog survive another?

World-renowned pet vaccination scientist, Dr. Jean Dodds, wrote recently: “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).”

An adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine may exact a high price – to your dog’s health and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know to make vaccinating your dog safer:

1. Learn to recognize adverse reactions. Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial Read more »

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Tags: dog, dogs, preventing reactions, rabbies, rabies exemptions, rabies shot, rabies vaccination, rabies vaccine, reactions to the rabies vaccine
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 82 Comments » | Email This Post