Would a Dog Breeder Prefer a Titer Test to Annual Vaccinations?
For some people, right or wrong, childhood vaccinations are a controversial subject. The same can be said for dog vaccines as well. It is common for veterinarians to administer regular vaccines to keep animals safe, but there may be an even safer method to make sure that a dog is protected. If you are a dog breeder you love your dogs and only want what is best for them as well as their offspring. A titer test is a way to check if dogs are already immune to a disease, and thus would not need a potentially harmful vaccination.
What Exactly is a Titer Test?
A titer test is a way for veterinarians to check the antibody titers in an animal. For a dog breeder, it could mean the difference between getting those vaccinations done or not. The test measures the concentration levels of the antibodies in a dog’s blood. It involves diluting the blood sample and exposing each diluted sample to antigens. At the final dilution, they can determine the final concentration. If the concentration of an antibody is too low, then the animal could use a vaccination to boost it. If it is over the threshold, then they are naturally immune.
Issues with Vaccinations
It should be said that vaccinations are a great way to protect your pet from diseases and every dog breeder knows this. They are not perfect, however. Not only can there be irritation at the injection site, but other issues can occur resulting from vaccinations. For instance, there have been cases of allergic reactions and autoimmune issues. In very rare cases, dogs have developed tumors. When getting any medical treatment for your dog, you should always weigh the risks and benefits. With vaccines, there are many benefits, but there is no reason to vaccinate or over-vaccinate your animal if you do not have to.
Favoring Titer Testing
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is in favor of using titers to check for antibody status. They mention cost as being a factor, for instance. Titer tests do cost more money but administering the test to avoid vaccine injections could cost less in the long run, along with being safe. Experts say that with many vaccines, dogs keep their immunity for up to nine years, so regular testing will help determine when that time is up. In fact, even after that period, the titer test may show lower antibodies. However, the immune system still has memory cells which can fight off diseases, so the dog still might not need another vaccination.
Issues for a Dog Breeder to Consider with Titer Tests
The main issues from titer testing come from a lack of understanding of the information they show. Titer tests only measure a part of the immune system response, which is the antibodies. An animal will stop producing antibodies at some point because it has never had a use for fighting off that disease. At this point, the antibody levels will drop, which may seem like protection has dropped. This is not so, because the immune system has memory cells which provide cell-mediated immunity. These cannot be measured by a titer test. The dog may not actually need another vaccine, and you may risk their health by administering another one. Of course, vaccinating every year when it is unnecessary could also risk their health.
A dog breeder in San Antonio or New Braunfels is always motivated by what is best for the dogs under their care. Vaccinations are a big part of the overall health and well-being of any dog but vaccinated too much may be a hazard. A titer test may be the perfect way to make sure the dog is fully protected while not performing any unnecessary injections.
For more information about why a dog breeder might opt for a titer test instead of vaccinations, visit our website at https://larascaninesolutions.com