Undecided, titer first or vaccine?

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Oscar 12345
Member
Posts: 1392
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Undecided, titer first or vaccine?

Post by Oscar 12345 »

Otto is 3 and it is coming up to 3 years since puppy vacs. I decided not to booster at 1. I keep going backwards and forwards on whether to go for the 3 year booster or titer for immunity first. If titer was a simple saliva test then it would be very easy decision. The blood test will be stressful and should I put him through that or just go for the 3 year jab again (DHP only) when it might not be needed. If I titer and one of the 3 core vaccines shows zero immunity then I would have to have the full DHP anyway. Can anyone help me through my thinking here because I really do need to stop procrastinating. :(
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

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zeta1454
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Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
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Re: Undecided, titer first or vaccine?

Post by zeta1454 »

Hi Julie - it is a dilemma! I can give you my personal perspective on this and others may offer you alternative views but ultimately you must go with what feels right for you and for Otto.

My views are in part coloured by our own loss of Caoimhe and from other dogs we have known to have suffered ill effects or death from a vaccine. Serious side effects may be rare but milder chronic conditions have been linked to over exposure to ingredients in vaccines generally although possibly harder to prove categorically. The WSAVA guidelines do recommend titre testing rather than just giving a ‘booster’ for that very reason:

“....the principles of ‘evidence- based veterinary medicine’ suggest that testing for antibody status (for either puppies or adult dogs) should be better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this would be ‘safe and cost less’.”


And, in answer to the following question:

90. Is there a risk of over-vaccinating a pet (e.g. injecting too often, or using vaccines that are not required for the specific pet)?
Yes. Vaccines should not be given needlessly, as they may cause adverse reactions. Vaccines are medical products that should be tailored to the needs of the individual animal
.

If Otto’s last vaccination of the puppy series was at 16 weeks of age or older, he should have been successfully immunised by the DHP jab and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that healthy dogs retain immunity for many years if not their lifetime. If he was younger than that there is a slight chance that he may have still had sufficient maternal antibodies to counteract the vaccine and he would not have been immunised against one or more of Distemper, Parvo or Adenovirus. Having said that, if he has been out and about in the past three years he may still have acquired immunity through coming into contact with the virus naturally in the environment and successfully resisting it anyway. The healthier the dog, the greater likelihood they will have the means to combat illness with few noticeable symptoms.

Puppies under six months of age are more vulnerable to disease as their immune system has not matured, while healthy adult dogs do have a much better chance of successfully resisting infection and recover quickly if they do become ill. I do know many excellent breeders who choose only to vaccinate their puppies and do not re-vaccinate after that, confident from experience over many years that their dogs will be healthy into old age without the need for regular vaccines.

The titre test can give reassurance that a dog has circulating antibodies against infection and any positive result confirms this as stated in the WSAVA guidelines:

The presence of antibody (no matter what the titre) indicates protective immunity and immunological memory is present in that animal. Giving more frequent vaccines to animals in an attempt to increase antibody titre is a pointless exercise. It is impossible to create ‘greater immunity’ by attempting to increase an antibody titre.
The presence of serum antibody, regardless of titre, in an actively immunized dog over the age of 20 weeks is correlated with protection.”


However, the test is not infallible and can give a false negative which would mean a dog being revaccinated despite having immunity so this also needs to be taken into account. We had titre test results several years ago for two of our dogs as adults which seemed to indicate they did not have antibodies to Distemper only but we decided not to have them vaccinated again. In the end, you have to weigh up the relative risks and benefits of the actions you decide on for your peace of mind and for Otto. With our dogs, many of whom we have bred ourselves, I feel happier keeping them as fit and healthy as possible without exposing them to unnecessary pharmaceuticals, and the potential adverse effects worry me more than the potential diseases, but that is a personal view and I quite understand others having a different perspective.

Sometimes we can overthink these issues trying to find a perfect answer that is never going to be there. Whatever you do decide, you will be choosing to do it for the best for Otto and I am sure it will work out just fine :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Oscar 12345
Member
Posts: 1392
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Undecided, titer first or vaccine?

Post by Oscar 12345 »

What a super post Leigh. Thank you for putting that together. Very very helpful. Will let you know what I decide.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

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