Weekly Wag: Titer Testing-K9 Vaccination Alternative

A man asked me if I accepted titer testing instead of a vaccination record for my home pet sitting business. To my embarrassment, I had no idea what he was talking about. I did some research and this is what I discovered. Annual vaccinations may be doing your loved one more harm than good!

A “titer” is a measurement of how much antibody to a certain virus is circulating in the blood at that moment. Titer testing takes blood from your dog annually to test his level of immune defenses to replace the annual vaccinations, some of which may not even be needed depending on where you live.

If a dog has satisfactory levels of vaccine titers, the dog is considered sufficiently immune to the disease and doesn’t need further vaccination against the disease at that time.

English: National Lyme disease risk map with 4...

Lyme Disease Map-Click to enlarge

For example, Lyme disease vaccination; ticks carrying the Lyme disease pathogen can be found in only a few regions of the United States.

Another common vaccine that is unnecessary protects against “kennel cough,” an often mild respiratory disease contracted during boarding or dog shows. This is the bordetella vaccine.

According to Shultz, professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog’s health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.

“These adverse reactions have caused many veterinarians to rethink the issue of vaccination,” says Schultz. “The idea that unnecessary vaccines can cause serious side effects is in direct conflict with sound medical practices.”

Schultz says that core vaccines, or the ones that protect against life-threatening disease, are essential for all dogs, yet he does not recommend dogs receive these shots yearly.

Source: University of Wisconsin News

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