Vaccines for dogs and cats are continually being researched, resulting in ever-changing recommendations for protocols. At Sierra Animal Wellness Center, we use the minimum vaccines necessary to produce immunity, because studies show the risk of side effects increases with each injection. Titer testing can help us determine if vaccination is required or if your pet has sufficient immunity to avoid booster vaccines.
What is Titer Testing?
A titer test is a simple blood test that measures a dog or cat’s antibodies to vaccine. Titers accurately assess protection to the so-called “core” diseases (distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats), enabling Dr. Peggy to judge whether a booster vaccination is necessary. All animals can have serum antibody titers measured instead of receiving vaccine boosters. The only exception is rabies re-vaccination. There is currently no state that routinely accepts a titer in lieu of the rabies vaccine, which is required by law.
If your pet’s titer levels show that an adequate immune memory has been established, you do not need to create the potential for vaccinosis by introducing unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives (common vaccine ingredients) into his body via booster vaccines. Instead, skip the boosters and have your dog or cat’s titers rechecked in three years.