Analyzing New Vaccination Recommendations for Dogs

Written by Jan on November 15, 2011 – 1:01 am

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recently issued its 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines.  The 2003 report, revised in 2006 and 2007, caused quite a stir.  Many veterinarians and pet parents didn’t trust the findings –and still don’t — even though the report was backed by scientific studies and written by 14 well-respected experts. Change can be scary.

The report’s recommendation to eliminate or limit many unnecessary and/or dangerous vaccines, and to give the important “core vaccines” no more often than every three years (NOT annually!), was and is unpalatable to many practices.  It could represent a huge drop in income.

Though veterinary organizations and every North American vet school changed their vaccination protocols to accommodate the report’s findings, most clinics continue to over-vaccinate.  Read more »

Share
Tags: bad reactions, booster, dog, dog shots, over-vaccination, rabies, recommendations, symptoms, titer test, Vaccination, vaccination schedule, vaccine, vaccine reactions
Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions | 23 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 »

Share
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

Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily

Written by Jan on October 22, 2008 – 4:29 pm

Titer Testing: a Simple Blood Test

Titer Testing: a Simple Blood Test

Enlightened veterinarians and pet parents have become increasingly wary of the health risks, and lack of benefits, associated with repeatedly vaccinating dogs after their initial “puppy shots.” Is titer testing the solution to the over-vaccination problem? Here’s a crash course to help you muddle through the mire of misinformation surrounding this simple blood test, and to help you decide whether or not to test your dog’s antibody titers.

What is titer testing?A titer test (pronounced TIGHT er) is a laboratory test measuring the existence and level of antibodies to disease in blood. Antibodies are produced when an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) provokes a response from the immune system. This response can come from natural exposure or from vaccination. (Note: titering is also called serum vaccine antibody titering and serologic vaccine titering.)

How is the test performed? Your test result will have an explanation of what your pet’s test result means. But if you want to know more, here’s the test in a nutshell: First, one mL of blood is drawn. The sample is then diluted. Titer levels, expressed as ratios, indicate how many times blood can be diluted before no antibodies are detected. If blood can be diluted a 1000 times and still show antibodies, the ratio would be 1:1000. This is a “strong” titer. A titer of 1:2 would be weak.

Should I test for all diseases?The most recommended test examines antibodies for both parvovirus and distemper, the two most important viruses.Rabies titers are also often tested. Usually, for most dogs, tests for other diseases are generally not considered useful or necessary.

Why test? The parvovirus/distemper test can help you or others (vets, groomers, kennel owners, etc.) determine if your dog requires additional vaccination, and may save your dog unnecessary shots. It is especially useful when making a decision about vaccinating an animal with unknown vaccination history, or for determining if puppies have received immunity from vaccination (more below).

Most experts believe strong titers are a more reliable indication of immunity than vaccination: tests show the actual immune response, not just the attempt to cause an immune response by vaccination. Do not expect, however, that everyone will accept test results in place of proof of vaccination.The subject of immunity is complicated, and we are programmed to think of vaccination as “the gold standard” — the more, the better. Experts who challenge the status quo are often maligned. Humans don’t like change.

How often should I test titers for parvo and distemper? Read more »

Share
Tags: antibody, blood, distemper, dog, immunity test, parvovirus, puppy shots, rabies, serology, titer, titer test, vaccinate, vaccine
Posted under Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 72 Comments » | Email This Post