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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping that you guys know a lot more about this than I do...!!
This year, for the first time, I decided to have titers run instead of getting the automatic, annual booster.

The new vet we're going to seemed to be very supportive of the idea, though he admitted that he's basically learning as we go with this, since they don't do it very often and he's not very familiar with it. (Only a couple other patients have requested this.)

He called me yesterday when they got the results back from the lab. He said that Gunner was showing a 2 on Distemper and a 16.38 on Parvo, so he said that he has practically no immunity, at all. Then he questioned himself and said that he was afraid he was reading the results completely backwards. He put a call in to the lab, called me back and said that yes, he was reading it incorrectly and that Gunner's numbers actually indicate a good level of immunity. He did say that he's showing immunity to only two of the six strains of Lepto, though, so he's ordering a separate Lepto-only vaccine for me.

Does that sound right? I want to make sure that this guy knows what he's doing. My days of just taking their word for it and trusting a vet are over.
 

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Yikes--good thing he checked!

Is the Lepto vaccine recommended now? It used to not be recommended because there were so many strains it didn't protect for.
 

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What my vet said..

Basically agreed that:

1) A "titer" is a measurement of how much antibody to a certain virus (or other antigen) is circulating in the blood at that moment.

B) A titer test does not and cannot measure immunity

Good article and needs to be read by all.
 

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Quote:instead of getting the automatic, annual booster.
I would go with the titers if it makes you feel better to check each year. More and more vets are going with the 3 year spacing of most shots anyway.
 

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I only titer for rabies because it's the law. I don't titer for anything else.

And any vet that is doing an annual booster is WAY behind the times...and endangering the health of their patients.
 

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It does for licensing both here and in Wisconsin where I used to live. You have to check with your county though. And the titers are ok for crossing the border into Canada too.
 

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Rabies titers don't yet replace the 3 year vaccine in my county here in Oregon
Perhaps one day...

I titer Dante for Parvo and Distemper so that I don't have to vaccinate him every 3 years but I can still board him.

I believe the true answer for titers is perhaps somewhere in both sides but for now, I'm of the mind that I don't need to vaccinate my dog every 3 years for Parvo and Distemper.
 

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In my county we will accept titers in lieu of rabies shots for acceptance into our emergency shelters. But, vets will only give a rabies titer if the health or age of the dog is of concern for a rabies vacine and then only if the dog has had a rabies shot and at least one rabies booster.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally Posted By: BowWowMeow
Is the Lepto vaccine recommended now? It used to not be recommended because there were so many strains it didn't protect for.
This vet recommended the Lepto vaccine because apparently it can be transmitted through raccoon urine and we have a big problem with raccoons around here, so he feels that Gunner could be in a higher-risk category for exposure.
I'm not sure how many strains there are, in total. I know this vaccine is supposed to protect against six strains, but beyond that I'm clueless. I don't know if that covers all of them, or not.

I read that article. Interesting... but this part doesn't make sense to me:
A titer test does not and cannot measure immunity, because immunity to specific viruses is reliant not on antibodies, but on memory cells, which we have no way to measure. Memory cells are what prompt the immune system to create antibodies and dispatch them to an infection caused by the virus it "remembers."

I'm tired, so maybe I'm just being stupid. (It's a good possibility.) But if the memory cells determine immunity and they create the antibodies, then wouldn't measuring the antibodies tell you whether the memory cells are doing their job and providing adequate immunity?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally Posted By: Jason_Sidener
No because the anitibodies can be there but may not show up on a titers test.
Ah, Okay.
So basically, I probably shouldn't vaccinate more than every third year, regardless...?
 

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The recommendation is that vaccinations, if you are not titering, should be given every 3rd year. Personally, I would titer every 3rd year instead, not every year.

I don't vaccinate my dogs any more. My girl was last vaccinated 9 years ago, and the boy 6 years ago.


Did your vet really run a titer for all those strains of Lepto? I've never heard of that before.

The thing about the antibodies is that they are made *in response* to exposure. The titer measures the antibodies that are already there, it doesn't measure the antibodies that the body has the ability to manufacturer in response to an assault. The memory cells control that process.
 
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