Shockingly, many pet owners have no idea.
A titer test (pronounced tight-errr) is a laboratory or in-house veterinary test measuring the existence and level of antibodies (necessary to fight off disease) in your pet’s blood. Basically, it’s a test that will tell you whether or not you actually need to vaccinate your pet.It’s also super useful when making a decision about vaccinating a pet with an unknown vaccination history, or for determining if pets have received immunity from vaccination.
Why is this so important?
Because of what can happen if you over-vaccinate your pet! “Vaccinosis”, the name for the chronic disease, is caused by continued use of vaccines. These symptoms mimic the original disease in parts.
According to the guide “Canine Nutrigenomics” by world-renowned veterinarian immunologist Dr. Jean Dodds and Diana R. Laverdure:
“Vaccines have achieved many important benefits for companion animals, including:
- Saved more animals’ lives than any other medical advance.
- Significantly reduced canine distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus.
- Significantly reduced feline pan leukopenia.
- Eliminated rabies in Europe.
However after spending many years monitoring the results of vaccinosis, those in the animal healthcare field now have a duty to re-examine and improve the current vaccine protocols for the health and safety of their patients. This is especially true for animals with compromised immune systems, since vaccines represent one more stressor that could prove to be the tipping point between health and disease.
Side effects from dog vaccinations can occur anywhere from instantly up to several weeks or months later. Vaccines can even cause susceptibility to chronic diseases that appear much later in a dog’s life (Dodd, 2001).
Severe and fatal adverse reactions include:
- Susceptibility to infections.
- Neurological disorders and encephalitis.
- Aberrant behavior, including unprovoked aggression.
- Vaccines are linked to seizures. Distemper, parvovirus, rabies and, presumably, other vaccines have been linked with poly neuropathy, a nerve disease that involves inflammation of several nerves. (Dodds,2001) “
The most useful time to run a titer test is after your youngster has received her initial series of vaccinations.
The most basic method for a titer is where your pet’s blood is drawn and sent away for testing. It ranges anywhere from $150 to $200. The most affordable method is the new “in house” testing procedure. This test is performed at the vet clinic and it takes about 20mins to get the results. The price range is anywhere from $60 to $80!
According to truth4pets.org, “Although titer testing may cost somewhat more than vaccination in the short run, it is a bargain long term. Titers do not have to be repeated yearly or even every three years. By testing rather than vaccinating, you avoid the risk of adverse reactions from unnecessary vaccines and the accompanying cost of treatment.”
“The most useful time to run a titer test is after your youngster has received her initial series of vaccinations. Especially if you’ve limited that series to just one or two vaccinations, the last being after 16 weeks of age. The odds are you’ve just conferred lifetime immunity to your youngster.
If you want to know how effective your vaccinations were in conferring immunity (i.e. did vaccination = immunization?), ask your vet to run a titer test a few weeks later.” – Dr.Will Falconer/ Dogs Naturally Magazine
And there you have it. Now you know.
Remember: there is a huge difference between “not vaccinating” and over-vaccinating your pet. Unfortunately some are very quick to pull the “Anti-Vaxxxer trigger” these days, the second a vaccine article is released.
With most vet clinics today vaccinating pets every six months for the rest of these pets’ lives, does this not warrant thought or research?
Want more info on titer test? –Dogs Naturally Magazine