Titre Testing as an Alternative to Annual Vaccinations???
The current vaccination protocol recommended for dogs in the UK is 2 primary vaccinations 2 – 4 weeks apart, with the second vaccination not before they are 10 weeks of age. The full vaccination should be boosted 12 months after the primary course. The first 14 months of life are the highest risk for any dog, but even a vaccinated dog is more at risk from infectious disease during this time. After this time the main vaccine is repeated only every 3 years. Cover against Leptospirosis has been shown to dip quickly after the 12 months and therefore annual vaccination is still recommended for this.
Titre testing is a means to assess the antibody levels of a particular individual’s blood. Unfortunately, this doesn’t accurately indicate their overall immunity or level of protection against disease. The blood tests would only tell the antibody levels at the time of sampling, not in 1, 2 or 6 months time. A dog would need titre testing for Parvo Virus, Adeno Virus, Distemper and Leptospirosis. The blood sample has to be sent to a specialist laboratory (current cost £121.60). Please discuss this with a vet before embarking on this decision. There is evidence to suggest it will leave your dog susceptible to these infectious diseases.
Vaccinations have a very high safety margin and there is overwhelming evidence to show both individual and population benefits. There are cases of vaccine reactions, but these are far outweighed by the levels of disease prevention.