Vaccinations are a very important part of every pet’s preventative health care. When properly administered, they can protect against serious life-threatening diseases, some of which may be transferred to humans. However, when given improperly these same vaccines can have serious side effects, some of which are life-threatening. Clearly, any vaccination for any pet should be seriously considered in light of these consequences.
Over the years, veterinary microbiologists, internal medicine specialists, oncologists, and immunologists such as the well esteemed 40-year veteran Dr. Ron Schultz (University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine) have been questioning the practice of vaccinating dogs and cats every year with core vaccines whether needed or not. Dr. Schultz’s research was so compelling that the American Animal Hospital Association and American Board of Veterinary Practitioners have revolutionized their protocols in which core vaccines are no longer recommended on a yearly basis. Progressive veterinarians across the world have been adopting a new approach to vaccinations that avoids the dangers of over-vaccination while allowing for protection of companion animals against the many life-threatening disease they might encounter.
This new approach is known as vaccine titer testing which assesses if a dog or cat has adequate immunity against diseases such as Distemper, Parvo, Panleukopenia, and others. If positive (indicating protective immunity), then vaccination is not required thereby avoiding an unnecessary vaccination and its associated risks. If negative, then the required vaccine is administered in a safe and logical manner. A simple blood sample which is submitted to the Texas A&M University for analysis once yearly is all that is needed. Recent advancements in vaccine titer testing have made this approach both reasonable and affordable.
Increasing numbers of educated pet owners are now requesting vaccine titer testing over the dated practice of yearly vaccinations. This has become increasingly apparent regarding our clients as evidenced by their requesting this approach as they demand only the best of care for their pets. Given the concerns with over vaccination and potential links to life threatening autoimmune diseases and certain cancers, it is obvious that vaccine titers are the logical solution for the ongoing vaccine dilemma.
With a combined clinical practice experience of nearly 80 years, both Dr. Krug and Dr. Cortiaus recommend using vaccine titers over the repetitive yearly needed or not approach to core vaccinations. We believe this is unquestionably the best practice to avoid excessive/over vaccination of our canine and feline patients.