Lenny Small, VP Marketing
Lenny Small is, and has been, VP Marketing for Biogal for the past 8 years. Previous to this, he successfully marketed pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Lenny has a diploma in Biology and a degree in Business Management.
Using titer testing is a valuable investment for shelters to quickly identify, and manage the spread of infectious disease such as Parvovirus, Distemper and Panleukopenia. Prompt identification of these diseases simply helps save resources, time, and most importantly our pets lives. It is as simple as this.
How can VacciCheck help?
Titer testing is often underutilized in the field of shelter medicine due to cost. VacciCheck though, is an in-shelter titer test, that makes titer testing and disease surveillance easier, faster and more affordable, when compared to other alternatives. The Maddies Fund discusses in depth the use of titer testing in general, and VacciCheck in particular.
What do the vaccination guidelines recommend?
The latest WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines recommends titer testing, such as VacciCheck, for the following 2 reasons:
- If there is a disease outbreak within a shelter: all animals within the shelter should be titer tested for Distemper and Parvovirus (dogs/puppies) or Panleukopenia (cats/kittens). If protected, our pets should not become infected or possibly die. Simple and clear thinking. Protected pets can then be separated from non- or low-responding animals.
If our pets test negative, it indicates that these animals are susceptible to the disease and should not be taken out of the shelter until after the incubation period for the infection. These animals should be vaccinated and then retested to confirm that they test positive after the incubation period mentioned above.
- For animals outside of a shelter needing to be admitted in the face of a disease outbreak in the shelter, if the pets test positive with VacciCheck, they may safely enter the shelter as they are protected from disease.
If the pets test negative, these animals should be vaccinated and sent to foster homes until after they have developed protection for these diseases. They should not be allowed to enter any shelter until they are testing positive.
The new AAHA Vaccination Guidelines describe how to use titer testing via their flow chart.
As important as it is for us to care for our own pets, it is just as important to protect all animals in all shelters.
Over the years, Professor Ronald Schultz has been a pioneer in creating vaccination guidelines for our pets.
So when Professor Schultz comes up with the statement “Be Wise and Immunize, But Immunize Wisely”, what is the take home message?
A Concept Change for Pet Vaccination
The routine administration of vaccines in dogs and cats has been one of the most significant factors in the consistent reduction of serious dog and cat infectious diseases.
Although all veterinarians agree vaccines are necessary, the frequency in which some of them are given, is now debated.
It is known that dogs and cats, after vaccination, often maintain protective antibody to what is called the “core diseases” - Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Distemper and Feline Panleukopenia, Herpes and Calici Virus for three or more years. So, our dilemma is knowing that we may not need to revaccinate our pets for core vaccines, how can we know that the antibody levels of our pets through vaccination are indeed adequate?
Titer Testing to Determine Protection for Our Pets
Antibody or titer testing can be used to show levels of protection after vaccinating our pets with core vaccines.
Therefore, when an antibody is present, there should be no need to revaccinate.
How Often to Titer Test?
Professor Schultz has offered the following advice:
“Neither a titer nor annual vaccination is necessary every year because of the core vaccines’ duration of immunity. However, a blood sample taken yearly from an animal for a titer check is preferential to an unnecessary vaccination as a vaccine may cause harm.”
The Canine and Feline VacciCheck are Core Vaccine Tests
One of the titer tests available and, easily performed by vets, in their clinics, is VacciCheck.
VacciCheck tests for your pet’s antibodies and can determine if a dog or cat needs an additional core vaccine vaccination. This may save the dog or cat unnecessary vaccinations.
VacciCheck also confirms if puppies or kittens have received immunity from vaccination.
Also unique about VacciCheck, results can be received on the same day.
So vets now have a quick and simple test that can be performed in their clinic, at a reasonable cost to the pet owner.
It is no wonder that The World Small Animal Veterinary Association recommends in clinic titer testing, such as VacciCheck.