Vaccines and Titers

July 23, 2016 on 9:07 am | In General Posts |

Animals properly immunized against the clinically important viral diseases have sterilizing immunity that not only prevents clinical disease but also prevents infection, and only the presence of antibody can prevent infection.

An animal with a positive antibody titer blood test against these viruses has sterilizing immunity and should be protected from infection. If that animal were vaccinated it would not respond with a significant increase in antibody titer but instead may develop a hypersensitivity/allergy to vaccine components (e.g. fetal bovine serum, adjuvants.) This could result in an acute allergic reaction (that can be fatal) or long-term side effects (immune blood problems, arthritis, cancer, etc.) In my practice, it’s no coincidence that many of my patients who come for my help for various disorders (seizures, allergies, cancers, etc.) have received numerous (unnecessary) vaccines and often received vaccines shortly before their diagnosis.  One should avoid vaccinating animals that are already protected.

Here are some of the myths Dr. Dodds exposed in her recent article in a leading veterinary medical journal.

MYTH

  • There is little to no risk of vaccinating animals that are already immune.

TRUTH

  • Vaccines contain material designed to challenge the immune system of the pet, and so can cause adverse reactions. They should not be given needlessly and should be tailored to the pet’s individual needs and based upon titer testing.

MYTH

  • Half-dose vaccines cannot adequately immunize small toy dogs.

TRUTH

  • Some experts advocate the whole amount, as it provides the minimum immunizing dose. Our recent research giving half-dose of distemper and parvovirus booster to adult toy dogs elicited sustained protective immunity.

MYTH

  • Pets with diseases such as cancer or autoimmune diseases, or adverse vaccine reactions/hypersensitivity can safely receive booster vaccinations.

TRUTH

  • MLV products should be avoided as the vaccine virus may cause disease.
  • Vaccination with killed, inactivated products may aggravate immune-mediated disease or be ineffective.

MYTH

  • Vaccines can be given less than two weeks apart if a different vaccine is being given.

TRUTH

  • The safest and most effective interval to immunize is three to four weeks apart.

MYTH

  • Puppy and kitten vaccine series should start early and continue until 16 weeks of age.

TRUTH

  • The last dose of vaccine given at 14 to 16 weeks old in dogs and 12 to 14 weeks in cats should immunize them, but use titer testing to be sure the pets are adequately immunized.

MYTH

  • Vaccinated animals will not be immunized for several weeks after vaccination.

TRUTH

  • This is dependent on the animal, the vaccine and the disease.
  • Fastest immunity is provided by canine distemper vaccines, within 24 hours. Immunity to canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia virus takes three to five days.
Titer testing is simple, safe, effective, and inexpensive. Please don’t routinely vaccinate your pets as they don’t need it. Use titer testing to determine if/when your pet may benefit from (rather than suffer from) needless vaccinations!

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