Vaccination vs. Vaccine Titres by Dr. Brenda Gough

We have an increasing number of clients concerned about over-vaccinating their pets and looking for alternatives to vaccines for their family friends.

We at Park Road are always considering the optimal health of our patients.  As such, we modified our vaccine protocol to minimize the vaccine load as much as possible. Once our canine patients have had their puppy vaccines (critically important!) and the one year vaccine, which completes the initial vaccination requirements, they go on a three year rotation for the core vaccines.  This means your furry friend requires an ANNUAL visit, and the core vaccines are alternated over the three years.

If a client chooses to have titres tested for the core vaccines, there are several things that need to be considered:

  1. The dog needs to have full puppy vaccines, the one year vaccination and the two year vaccinations. Without these, research has shown that they will not have adequate titres.

  2. Vaccination titres do NOT confirm adequate protection against disease. There are many components to the immune system, which is much broader than just the titre. While your pet may have an adequate titre, this doesn’t mean that there will be enough local immunity to protect your pet against the disease.

  1. Vaccine titres are not available for all diseases, just the core, such as Distemper, Parvo and Rabies. We won’t be able to tell you if your pet is adequately protected against the other diseases such as leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, or Hepatitis.

  1. Bordetella, leptospirosis and Lyme vaccines are not considered core vaccines, but should be given annually. There are no titre tests available for Bordetella or Leptospirosis.

  1. The cost for the titre tests are very expensive.  The Rabies titre and the Distemper/Parvo titre are done separately. These would need to be tested annually to determine the need for re-vaccination for your pet. Please contact the our Brantford animal clinic for further details and pricing.

  1. Research shows that with the 3 year schedule we use, according to AAHA guidelines, we are not over-vaccinating our friends.  And as long at 75% of pets are vaccinated in our area, we can stop the spread of disease.  In countries that have stopped vaccinating, in the span of a few years they experienced outbreaks of distemper.  The viruses are out there.

At the Park Road Veterinary Clinic we respect the wishes of every client and wish to work with you for the very best care of your pet.  We believe in providing all the information you require to make informed decisions.  If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!