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TITERS--Shedding Some Light On

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#1
Kris L. Christine

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PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE. To shed some light on titer testing, the following is from Page 19 the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines under the heading "Serological Tests to Monitor Immunity: it states that "Although the committee does not feel it is necessary to determine titers to these core viruses on an annual basis because of the long minimum DOI [duration of immunity] for these products, titers can be used for your and/or your client's assurance that the animal has immunity. Experience with postvaccination titers for CDV [distemper], CAV [hepatitis], and CPV [parvo] shows that sterile immunity lasts for years...........The primary reason for the test is to ensure that you have a positive test after completing the puppy vaccination series." From Page 16 of the 2003 AAHA Guidelines it reports that, "The MLV [modified live virus (such as distemper, hepatitis, parvo)] vaccines create an immunity that is similar to immunity after an animal recovers from infection." Further, on Page 17, " When MLV [modified live virus (such as distemper, hepatitis, parvo)] vaccines are used to immunize a dog, memory cells develop and likely persist for the life of the animal." Dr. Alice Wolf, Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, stated in an address (Vaccines of the Present and Future http://www.vin.com/V...000/PR00141.htm) at the 2001 World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress that: "MLV vaccines generally produce longer duration, more solid immunity. Both humoral and cell-mediated immune systems participate strongly in the response. A single vaccination may provide significant immunologic memory (as long as there is no maternal AB interference). MLV vaccines do not, or only infrequently, require revaccination ..."..This is what Dr. Ronald Schultz had to say in his 2007 presentation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation entitled,What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines and Vaccination Programs: http://www.puliclub....ne Vaccines.htm "An antibody titer no matter how low shows the animal has immunologic memory since memory effector B cells must be present to produce that antibody. Some dogs without antibody are protected from disease because they have T cell memory, that will provide cell mediated immunity (CMI). CMI will not protect from reinfection, but it will prevent disease.""My own dogs, those of my children and grandchildren are vaccinated with MLV CDV, CPV-2, CPI, andCAV-2 vaccines once as puppies after the age of 12 weeks. An antibody titer is performedtwo or more weeks later and if found positive our dogs are never again vaccinated. " I have usedthis vaccination program with modifications (CAV-2 replaced CAV-1 vaccines in 1970's and CPV-2 vaccines were first used in 1980) since 1974! I have never had one of our dogs develop CDV,CAV-1 or CPV-2 even though they have had exposure to many dogs, wildlife and to virulent CPV-2 virus. You may say that I have been lucky, but it is not luck that protects my dogs, it is immunologic memory"The vaccines in the quote above are CDV (distemper), CPV-2 (parvovirus), CPI (canine parainfluenza), and CAV-2 (hepatitis), and Dr. Ronald Schultz is the Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. His challenge and serological studies on canine vaccines form a large part of the scientific data base upon which the 2003 and 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are based, as well as the 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association's Vaccine Guidelines.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Combination Vaccines, Multiple Shots--on Page 16 of the 2003 AAHA Guidelines under Immunological Factors Determining Vaccine Safety, it states that: "Although increasing the number of components in a vaccine may be more convenient for the practitioner or owner, the likelihood for adverse effects may increase. Also, interference can occur among the components. Care must be taken not to administer a product containing too many vaccines simultaneously if adverse events are to be avoided and optimal immune responses are sought. "Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayv...of_immunity.htm What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.puliclub....ne Vaccines.htm World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines http://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF) The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at http://www.leerburg....cial_report.htm .The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at http://www.aahanet.o....s06Revised.pdf .Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at http://www.newvaccin...nprotocols.com/

#2
LauraK

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Thank you for posting this. Knowledge is always power.

#3
Kris L. Christine

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Knowledge is PowerYes, Knowledge is Power, and there are some who are very threatened by the thought of the canine community being fully informed about the known durations of immunity of the core canine vaccines and their documented adverse reactions.

#4
rocketsigntist

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I like that the Dr I work for is concerned about over vaccination. We have done several titers tests, mostly Rabies, and EVERY animal we have tested so far, have high results. (I don't think we do as many distemper, parvo, etc due to high costs - client's decision).I have contacted all the local boarding facilities, and they are all on board as far as taking titers results and not requiring actual vaccinations.Even the local cities with licensing are ok.BUT what we've run in to is the fact that titers haven't been tested in, of all places... the courtroom! Because of that, we don't stress doing the Rabies titers as much on normal, healthy animals, than we do on animals with compromised immune systems. But its still available.And we just had a lump removed from Toby's shoulder area, that we believe may have been from a vaccine he received about 1.5 years ago (at an interim vet when we first moved here, before I got my job).

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Since this is a quote from the document which I put up the link to but shows the pertinent info and page, I have made this a sticky.Thank you for the easy reference.

#6
mybutterfliesbark

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I have reservations to see Dr. Schultz in April at the Papillon National Speciality. I am terribly excited about it. Paula

#7
Kris L. Christine

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Dr. Ronald Schultz -- Comments on TITERSPaula,You are in for a treat in April -- Dr. Schultz is fascinating!This is what Dr. Ronald Schultz had to say in his 2007 presentation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation entitled,What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines and Vaccination Programs(http://www.puliclub....ne Vaccines.htm ) :"An antibody titer no matter how low shows the animal has immunologic memory since memory effector B cells must be present to produce that antibody. Some dogs without antibody are protected from disease because they have T cell memory, that will provide cell mediated immunity (CMI). CMI will not protect from reinfection, but it will prevent disease."My own dogs, those of my children and grandchildren are vaccinated with MLV CDV, CPV-2, CPI, andCAV-2 vaccines once as puppies after the age of 12 weeks. An antibody titer is performedtwo or more weeks later and if found positive our dogs are never again vaccinated. "The vaccines in the quote above are CDV (distemper), CPV-2 (parvovirus), CPI (canine parainfluenza), and CAV-2 (hepatitis), and Dr. Ronald Schultz is the Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. His challenge and serological studies on canine vaccines form a large part of the scientific data base upon which the 2003 and 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are based, as well as the 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association's Vaccine Guidelines.Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayvet.com/duration_of_immunity.htm

#8
Kris L. Christine

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What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines -- LINKI just found an online link to Dr. Schultz's speech and incorporated it into my post above also. What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.puliclub.org/CHF/AKC2007Conf/What%20Everyone%20Needs%20to%20Know%20About%20Canine%20Vaccines.htm Kris

#9
Kris L. Christine

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Are Our Pets Being Overvaccinated? Link to ArticleThere is an interesting article on veterinary vaccines which you can read in its entirety at the link below. Are Our Pets Being Overvaccinated, by Melissa Burden, The Press http://www.presspubl...alreports10.asp(Dr. W. Jean Dodds) “But there is really no breed that is not at risk,” she said. The only vaccination needed, she asserts, is the rabies vaccine because it is legally required. Dogs’ and cats’ immune systems mature fully at 6 months old, she explained. If canine distemper, feline distemper and parvovirus vaccines are given after 6 months, a pet has immunity for the rest of its life.(Dr. Robert Rogers) “Dogs and cats no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, and feline leukemia every year,” Rogers said. “Once the initial series of puppy or kitten vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity…persists for life. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to the potential risk of adverse reactions, he added.

#10
ufvet

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As a veterinarian I have many clients ask about overvaccination. I am a big believer that our companion animals retain protective titers much longer than the 1 year most vaccines are labled.BUT - please be cautious! Each animal is an individual. In my practice I make a vaccine protocol for each individual animal and their lifestyle/exposure. Titers are a great place to start - but we don't have firm data on what titer levels are actually protective. One animal with "adequate" titers could still be exposed to the virus and become ill. The titers have been set and not sufficently studied (ie animals with different titers infected with the virus to see what level is actually protective. Also the same titer in a different animal may not be protective due to other host factors). This means that your baby might have good "titers" but based on other health factors and exposure your pet might still be at risk for getting sick. We also can't pull titers for all the diseases we can vaccinate for - so that becomes an issue in some areas with certain diseases.I love that many of you are willing to spend the money to pull titers on your little ones. I have clients who are interested and shy away after they see it costs more. We only vaccine every three years for our viral illnesses - and only vaccinate yearly for the bacterin-type vaccines of the diseases that are really a threat in our area, and that a specific patient is actually at risk of contracting.Bottom line - find a vet that is willing to get into a dialogue with you. Vaccines are not bad - and have saved many animals and humans from great misery and suffering. You only have to watch one dog slowly die from parvo or distemper before you become a big supporter of vaccinations. Or watch a client lose a pet to leptospirosis-induced renal failure and worry now that her human children have been exposed. If you choose to use titers - wonderful! Just be aware of their limitations, and if your pet is at high risk of exposure, it might be better to keep the titers at the higher end (ie vaccinate when they start to drop) rather than waiting until they fall below the recommended level. Your vet should be able to help you out with this!

#11
Kris L. Christine

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ufvet,As a vet, and one from Colorado, you must are surely aware that, with the exception of the rabies vaccine, the one year vaccine labels are not backed by long-term scientific data. Here is some very revealing information from Colorado State regarding the pharmaceutical companies' recommendations for annual vaccines. The following quote is from the Small Animal Vaccination Protocols of the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is accessible at: http://www.geocities...rsark/CSAP.html The USDA requires challenge data two weeks after last vaccination for licensure for all vaccines (except rabies). The USDA does not require titers or challenge data at one year for any vaccine except for rabies vaccines. Manufacturers yearly vaccine recommendations are arbitrary for all but rabies vaccines. The following quotes are from the same protocols cited above, posted on the Calm Animal Care Veterinary Clinic website at: http://www.calmanima...com/vaccine.htm Our adoption of this routine vaccination program is based on the lack of scientific evidence to support the current practice of annual vaccination and increasing documentation showing that overvaccinating has been associated with harmful side effects. ........With boosters (except for rabies vaccine), the annual revaccination recommendation on the vaccine label is just that -- a recommendation without the backing of long term duration of immunity studies, and is not a legal requirement. Rabies vaccine is the only commonly used vaccine that requires that duration of immunity studies be carried out before licensure in the United States. Even with rabies vaccines, the label may be misleading in that a three year duration of immunity product may also be labeled and sold as a one year duration of immunity product.The American Veterinary Medical Association's 2007 Veterinary Biologics Guiding Principles www.avma.org/products/scientific/biologics.pdf states that: The one-year revaccination recommendation found on many vaccine labels is often based on historical precedent and was allowed by USDA regulation since it was based on the best scientific knowledge available at that time, which did not necessarily include product specific data. Even in those cases where scientific data were submitted to qualify a revaccination label claim, the data generally targeted a minimum duration of immunity and did not necessarily resolve the question regarding average or maximum duration of immunity....... clinical need (relevancy) or usefulness (applicability) of a product may not be completely assured by the licensing process.

#12
Kris L. Christine

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This is a repost of Dr. W. Jean Dodds' lates vaccination protocol. As most, if not all of you, know, Dr. Dodds is not only a veterinarian, but a veterinary research scientist. http://www.weim.net/...ms/Vaccine.html Dr. Jean Dodds' Recommended Vaccination Schedule Distemper (MLV) Initial (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy) 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 - 20 weeks 1st Annual Booster At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only Re-Administration Interval None needed.Duration of immunity 7.5 / 15 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending. Comments Can have numerous side effects if given too young (< 8 weeks). Parvovirus (MLV)Initial (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy) 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 - 20 weeks 1st Annual BoosterAt 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only Re-Administration Interval None needed.Duration of immunity 7.5 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending. Comments At 6 weeks of age, only 30% of puppies are protected but 100% are exposed to the virus at the vet clinic. Rabies (killed) Initial 24 weeks or older 1st Annual BoosterAt 1 year (give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccineRe-Administration Interval 3 yr. vaccine given as required by law in California (follow your state/provincial requirements) Comments rabid animals may infect dogs. Vaccines Not Recommended For Dogs Distemper & Parvo @ 6 weeks or younger Not recommended.At this age, maternal antibodies form the mothers milk (colostrum) will neutralize the vaccine and only 30% for puppies will be protected. 100% will be exposed to the virus at the vet clinic. Corona Not recommended.1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.3.) Mild self-limiting disease.4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable. LeptospirosisNot recommended1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.2) Side effects common.3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars. (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would be required for protection.).4) Risk outweighs benefits.Lyme Not recommended1) Low risk in California.2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin. Boretella(Intranasal)(killed) Only recommended 3 days prior to boarding when required.Protects against 2 of the possible 8 causes of kennel cough.Duration of immunity 6 months. Giardia Not recommendedEfficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies There are two types of vaccines currently available to veterinarians: modified-live vaccines and inactivated ("killed") vaccines.Immunization SchedulesThere is a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding the appropriate immunization schedule, especially with the availability of modified-live vaccines and breeders who have experienced postvaccinal problems when using some of these vaccines. It is also important to not begin a vaccination program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother's colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate an immune response.Many breeders and owners have sought a safer immunization program. Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)Modified-live vaccines contain a weakened strain of the disease causing agent. Weakening of the agent is typically accomplished by chemical means or by genetic engineering. These vaccines replicate within the host, thus increasing the amount of material available for provoking an immune response without inducing clinical illness. This provocation primes the immune system to mount a vigorous response if the disease causing agent is ever introduced to the animal. Further, the immunity provided by a modified-live vaccine develops rather swiftly and since they mimic infection with the actual disease agent, it provides the best immune response.Inactivated Vaccines (Killed)Inactivated vaccines contain killed disease causing agents. Since the agent is killed, it is much more stable and has a longer shelf life, there is no possibility that they will revert to a virulent form, and they never spread from the vaccinated host to other animals. They are also safe for use in pregnant animals (a developing fetus may be susceptible to damage by some of the disease agents, even though attenuated, present in modified-live vaccines). Although more than a single dose of vaccine is always required and the duration of immunity is generally shorter, inactivated vaccines are regaining importance in this age of retrovirus and herpesvirus infections and concern about the safety of genetically modified microorganisms. Inactivated vaccines available for use in dogs include rabies, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, etc.W. Jean Dodds, DVMHEMOPET938 Stanford StreetSanta Monica, CA 90403310/ 828-4804fax: 310/ 828-8251Note: This schedule is the one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice. For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or affected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison's or Cushing's disease, diabetes, etc.) the above protocol is recommended.After 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo, Great Dane).Another alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However, data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written informed consent should be obtained.I use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area pr specific kennel. Furthermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation.W. Jean Dodds, DVMHEMOPET

#13
ufvet

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[quote name='"Kris L. Christine"]ufvet' date='As a vet, and one from Colorado, you must are surely aware that, with the exception of the rabies vaccine, the one year vaccine labels are not backed by long-term scientific data.**I completely agree - was I not clear above? We do not vaccinate annually at my hosptial with the exception of the bacterin vaccines (they don't even last a year in most individuals) like bordatella for those that need it only. Also we do vaccinate for leptospirosis as it is prevalent in our area. We only use the 4 serovar vaccine that protects againts the prevalent infectious serovars in our area over 70% of the time. We test our lepto suspects and based on the data we gather we recommend and vaccinate those individuals that are at risk from the serovars that are present in our area.** Here is some very revealing information from Colorado State regarding the pharmaceutical companies' recommendations for annual vaccines. The following quote is from the Small Animal Vaccination Protocols of the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is accessible at: http://www.geocities...rsark/CSAP.html The USDA requires challenge data two weeks after last vaccination for licensure for all vaccines (except rabies). The USDA does not require titers or challenge data at one year for any vaccine except for rabies vaccines. Manufacturers yearly vaccine recommendations are arbitrary for all but rabies vaccines. ** You are, once again, in agreement with me. The vaccine labels are arbitrary - which is why we DO NOT vaccinate annually. If you pull titers on individual animals, you can make the best decision (although not foolproof) on when that individual animal is starting to lose immunity to a disease. If a client does not wish to spend the money on titers we use a 3 year vaccination protocol for thost at risk. **The rest of the quotes you provided we more of the same. I am not a supporter of overvaccination and do agree that our companion animals need to have individual protocols - not some general statement that applies to the whole.

#14
Kris L. Christine

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Regarding titers, Dr. Ronald Schultz declares in his An Update on What Everyone Needs to KNow about Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs" published in the 2008 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the AHVMA, Pages 325-336:36. Are serum antibody titers useful in determining vaccine immunity?Yes-Especially for CDV, CPV-2, and CAV-1 in the dog, FPV in the cat and rabies virus in the cat and dog. Serum antibody titers are of limited or no value for the other vaccines.Further, he states that "kennel cough is not preventable with vaccines."

#15
ufvet

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http://www.weim.net/emberweims/Vaccine.html[/url] Dr. Jean Dodds' Recommended Vaccination Schedule Distemper (MLV) Initial (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy) 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 - 20 weeks 1st Annual Booster At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only Re-Administration Interval None needed.Duration of immunity 7.5 / 15 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending. Comments Can have numerous side effects if given too young (< 8 weeks). Parvovirus (MLV)Initial (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy) 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 - 20 weeks 1st Annual BoosterAt 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only Re-Administration Interval None needed.Duration of immunity 7.5 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending. Comments At 6 weeks of age, only 30% of puppies are protected but 100% are exposed to the virus at the vet clinic. Rabies (killed) Initial 24 weeks or older 1st Annual BoosterAt 1 year (give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccineRe-Administration Interval 3 yr. vaccine given as required by law in California (follow your state/provincial requirements) Comments rabid animals may infect dogs. Vaccines Not Recommended For Dogs Distemper & Parvo @ 6 weeks or younger Not recommended.At this age, maternal antibodies form the mothers milk (colostrum) will neutralize the vaccine and only 30% for puppies will be protected. 100% will be exposed to the virus at the vet clinic. Corona Not recommended.1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.3.) Mild self-limiting disease.4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable. LeptospirosisNot recommended1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.2) Side effects common.3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars. (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would be required for protection.).4) Risk outweighs benefits.Lyme Not recommended1) Low risk in California.2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin. Boretella(Intranasal)(killed) Only recommended 3 days prior to boarding when required.Protects against 2 of the possible 8 causes of kennel cough.Duration of immunity 6 months. Giardia Not recommendedEfficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies There are two types of vaccines currently available to veterinarians: modified-live vaccines and inactivated ("killed") vaccines.Immunization SchedulesThere is a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding the appropriate immunization schedule, especially with the availability of modified-live vaccines and breeders who have experienced postvaccinal problems when using some of these vaccines. It is also important to not begin a vaccination program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother's colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them before they can stimulate an immune response.Many breeders and owners have sought a safer immunization program. Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)Modified-live vaccines contain a weakened strain of the disease causing agent. Weakening of the agent is typically accomplished by chemical means or by genetic engineering. These vaccines replicate within the host, thus increasing the amount of material available for provoking an immune response without inducing clinical illness. This provocation primes the immune system to mount a vigorous response if the disease causing agent is ever introduced to the animal. Further, the immunity provided by a modified-live vaccine develops rather swiftly and since they mimic infection with the actual disease agent, it provides the best immune response.Inactivated Vaccines (Killed)Inactivated vaccines contain killed disease causing agents. Since the agent is killed, it is much more stable and has a longer shelf life, there is no possibility that they will revert to a virulent form, and they never spread from the vaccinated host to other animals. They are also safe for use in pregnant animals (a developing fetus may be susceptible to damage by some of the disease agents, even though attenuated, present in modified-live vaccines). Although more than a single dose of vaccine is always required and the duration of immunity is generally shorter, inactivated vaccines are regaining importance in this age of retrovirus and herpesvirus infections and concern about the safety of genetically modified microorganisms. Inactivated vaccines available for use in dogs include rabies, canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, etc.W. Jean Dodds, DVMHEMOPET938 Stanford StreetSanta Monica, CA 90403310/ 828-4804fax: 310/ 828-8251Note: This schedule is the one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice. For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or affected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison's or Cushing's disease, diabetes, etc.) the above protocol is recommended.After 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo, Great Dane).Another alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However, data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written informed consent should be obtained.I use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area pr specific kennel. Furthermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation.W. Jean Dodds, DVMHEMOPET

** Dr. Dodd's recommendations are very similar in spirit to my own. The issues I have are:1. This is a general protocol. Some animals DO NOT retain those immunities as long as stated. Are you ok with your pet, if they are at risk of being exposed to the disease, not having adequate immunity? Every individual is different. As stated in a previous post - vaccine label data was based on the SHORTEST immunity. Some individuals will not hold their immunity for long and would, in fact, need to be boostered. This may be in 1 year, 3 years, or never at all!! 2. This is for California. The spirit Dr. Dodd has for "vaccines never to give to dogs" may be very true for California - and the facts she has in the boxes are correct. If you live in New England you may want to vaccinate for Lyme. (We do not here as it is not prevalent) In my area we have had enough cases of leptospirosis (and have done the work to isolate the prevalent serovars to be certain that the vaccine we are giving is going to cover a majority of our patients where they are needed - and give it during the time of year that infection risk is highest) We have a lot of Giardia in our area - and I do not vaccinate for it. The vaccine is worth less than the risks in my opinion. Please ask YOUR vet in YOUR area what diseases your pet is at risk for and what vaccines may or may not be appropriate. If you do not trust your vet to give you the correct inforation on what vaccines are needed - or do not trust them to speak with you about your options other than vaccinations - you need to change vets!!!My point in my original post was not to push people to vaccinate annually. It's very popular to be against vaccines these days. I chose an alternate vaccine schedule for my human children - based on a discussion with my docor and on risks I researched myself. I do not vaccine my dogs every year. I do use titers. I am not an expert in this field. I do work in the "trenches" almost every day. I have seen animals not hold their titers. I have seen adult dogs get parvo that have not been vaccinated for 5 years. I have seen dogs that have been "well vaccinated" get parvo, or distemper. You need to look at each individual and make the best recommendations you can.Research is what is needed - and critical review of that data is important too. Another think I have learned after reviewing many a journal article is that data is not always as straightforward as it may appear when you break down the studies and trials.Thanks for a spirited discussion. I really do enjoy speaking with knowledgable people and listening to all points of views. I do not disagree with your position - but I am hesitant to make sweeping recommendations on a forum that spans the WORLD! I also would hate for anyone to follow recommendations here without discussing it with their local vet, as recommendations change based on what part of the world you live in!

#16
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An Update on What Everyone Needs to KNow about Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs" [/b]published in the 2008 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the AHVMA, Pages 325-336:36. Are serum antibody titers useful in determining vaccine immunity?Yes-Especially for CDV, CPV-2, and CAV-1 in the dog, FPV in the cat and rabies virus in the cat and dog. Serum antibody titers are of limited or no value for the other vaccines.Further, he states that "kennel cough is not preventable with vaccines."

**notice the terminology they use when discussing antibody titers? "Useful" - they are useful, but not absolute. A pet with a borderline low titer may be at risk - and may not be. Do you vaccinate? Decision must be made based on the individual's risk and the area they live in!! My point exactly!!**Bordatella is just about as useful (and probably even less since it isn't reformulated every year) than the flu vaccine. Why do we give it? Our clients ask us. They need to kennel or get groomed - and the facility requires it. I never use it unless asked by a client. I agree completely!! Never have given it to my own pets. Have a pet-sitter come to the house.

#17
Guest_hlboyz_*

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I have discussed this with my vet and used rabies titers to determine whether a young dog had antibodies (indicating vaccination) and now to get a county license without a 3 year vaccination. I don't NEED to do it, the vet can verify that my 12.5 year old CC shouldn't have it due to recent immune system problems - but it will basically be our "cover our arse" just in case anything goes awry. The same for the other oldsters. It only needs one innocent incident to get your dog in hot water. Yes, it is ridiculously expensive IMO, or was (will let you know when I get the bill for the latest one).If I read UFVETs post correctly, it was a warning that just because a titer looks sufficient to cover the illness, a pup with a compromised immune system could still be suseptible to illness - so this is more about the pup than the transmission of disease and where the rabies protocol was initiated? I have heard of dogs who had been vaccinated for the various diseases actually did contract them. And why I don't RELY on them for the safety of my dogs. I have been asked why quarantine when my dogs are vaccinated.... I ask why take the chance. Titers are just another tool in protecting our pups but should not be the end all when it comes to protection. Well, that is how I look at it anyway.

#18
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I am so steamed right now! I paid for Albi's bloodwork and his titer and they charged me ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SMACKERS for a rabies titer??!!! (IDEXX)Last time I swear it was 75 dollars - different lab - and I thought that was highway robbery. I am asking about this charge for sure, will let ya know! :twisted:

#19
Laura

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Please let us know. With prices that different, I'd be a bit concerned that some vets might be overcharging for titers to discourage their use. Given that I have a dog who has been affected by overvaccination, I am of course an advocate of having the choice to titer. I'd hate to think that economics would be the force driving people to vaccinate rather than titer in some cases.

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Well I did a little checking and I guess that is the avg price.... can you believe it??? This was the answer given to someone who was quoted $185 for a titer from their vet.... The link is interesting, Kris probably already provided it but included it as it was in the answer. The one thing I will be asking is with this lab picking up bloodwork - to run all the tests including the titer, why the extra cost. This may be the cost for someone specifically doing just the titer not using a local lab. That may be another way to do it less expensively - since I know plenty of us are doing bloodwork at the same time.

The parvo and distemper titer are cheaper because they are usually done in house. The blood for a rabies titer has to be overnighted to a lab. $150.00 is about the average price from a vet. The labs that the vet sends it to only charge about $50.00, but then the vet has to draw the blood and package it up with ice and overnight it. If you have a holistic veterniary clinic in your area, contact them because they are usually cheaper and schedule certain days for titer testing so everyone can benefit by mailing them all together.http://www.vet.ksu.e...pts/dmp/service...



#21
Kris L. Christine

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hlboyz,The quickie, pass/fail, in-house titer kits, which your veterinarian can obtain and which are less expensive than sending bloodwork to a lab for a titer count, are called TiterChek from Synbiotics http://www.synbiotic...ct Code=96-0460 . They do not have an in-house rabies titer kit, however.

#22
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Thanks so much Kris! I have never had to do one because the shelters always do these vacs.... but it's one of those things that I would do FOR SURE to be certain a pup was protected!!! I bookmarked it - well, just in case! (sure wish the rabies titer was this easy :wink:

#23
Kris L. Christine

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In-House TiterChekI'll post the link again for the 15 minute in-house titer tests for distemper and parvo:TiterChek Synbiotics http://www.synbiotic...ct Code=96-0460 This link will take you to the following article and quotes: Ask Your Vet for TiterCHECK BY Rhonad L. Rundle, 07/31/02 The Wall Street Journal http://www.countryhospetality.com/PAWlicies_Links.html"Michael Dutton, a veterinarian and owner of Weare Animal Hospital in Weare, N.H., says the new TiterChek can help him and his clients determine which pets need a booster. ...... Dr. Dutton says he is charging clients $30 for the new in-office TiterChek test. That's less than half his $64 charge for the lab tests, which take 10 days and require mailing specimens overnight in ice packs. "




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