To Vaccinate or To Titer Your Dog?
Vaccines have really become a hot topic in both human and veterinary medicine these last few years. About 10 years ago, a few researchers/pathologists came forward with a hypothesis which suggested that by over-vaccinating our pets (and children) we were harming their immune system and causing disease. Over the last decade these suggestions have been further researched.
The number of animal lives saved by vaccine is far greater than the number of pets with serious adverse reactions to the vaccines. The AVMA goals are to find the safest vaccine and use it in the right situation and at the correct interval.
A safe vaccine is “clean.” This means that it’s thimerosal free, adjuvant free and would not contain mercury, aluminum or bacterial stimulants. Some researchers feel these additives have serious side effects, including causing chronic illness like arthritis, allergies, and auto-immune disease. Merial is a drug company that has developed an adjuvant-free line of vaccines. At Creature Comforts, we use only Merial brand vaccines.
Is there a way to know if we need to vaccinate? With some vaccinations given to our pets, we are able to do a titer test to see the level of antibodies in the blood is enough to protect the pet for certain disease we vaccination them against. If the titer level is high enough, vaccination would not need to be done at that time.
Aren’t titers price prohibitive for some owners? Up to this point, titer tests have only been able to be run at large laboratories and were considered too expensive for many pet owners. Now at Creature Comforts, we are able to offer titer testing for dogs for Distemper, Parvovirus and Infectious Hepatitis within our clinic and at a cost savings to the dog owner. Thanks to VacciCheck® we are able to offer this service in clinic. At some point in the future, they hope to offer this in-clinic titer tests for cats as well.
Ask us about this in-clinic titer test at your next dog wellness visit with us. The test takes 24-minutes to run and it allows us to determine if your dog is protected or if he would to have his booster done at his yearly appointment.