Does she need to be vaccinated this year? Blood Titre test can help decision-making.

Recent studies have shown that most core vaccinations last longer than one year. One study found adequate serum antibody titres to last for at least 6 years for feline panleukopenia virus, 4 years for feline calcivirus, and 3 years for feline herpesvirus. Many veterinarians are now adjusting their vaccination protocols and determining the frequency of vaccination based upon each individual patient. When determining the frequency of vaccination, several things must be taken into consideration:

  • Medical history and presence of disease or active allergies
  • Antibody titres
  • The age of the animal
  • Prior adverse reaction to vaccination
  • Potential for exposure to the disease
  • Prior vaccination schedule

Titres are tests that determine the amount of antibodies to a particular agent in the blood (i.e. a virus such as parvovirus). This information helps to determine an animal’s immune response upon exposure to the agent, and is used to help decide whether revaccination is required. Titres do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and exposure to the “wild” disease; generally the magnitude of immunity produced by vaccination is lower. An adequate titre is only a measurable quantity of the immune system’s “Memory” response. Neither vaccination nor an adequate titre guarantees protection, which is why it is essential to ensure proper function of the immune system.

Benefits of Checking Titres:

  • May reduce the frequency of vaccination
  • Reduces the risk of allergies, cancer, and other immune mediated diseases
  • Reduces the risk of an anaphylactic reaction associated with vaccination
  • Reduces exposure to toxic chemicals and foreign proteins that are found in some vaccines

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