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

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