I would like to share an incident which occurred when I took Kiwi, my shelter adopted “Rat” Terrier for teeth cleaning. The vet informed me, that prior to anesthesia, he was required to run blood tests. I had been working at Biogal as the Head of the Molecular Biology Department for a few years and had occasional contact with VacciCheck. I also must admit that Kiwi is vaccinated every year, but only for rabies.
In short, she had not received a core vaccine since we collected her from the shelter. This was my chance to test the remaining blood for protective antibodies to Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis. To my surprise, her antibody levels were well in the protective range (and happily so).
My scientific mind required an explanation as I was told that dogs should receive core vaccinations every year. My investigation began with Google, where I discovered that the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the American Animal Hospital Association have modified the vaccination guidelines to “intervals of 3 years (or longer)”. I felt slightly less guilty about neglecting Kiwi’s health. It seems that the vaccinations which she received induced the production of memory cells which are activated whenever she is exposed to these diseases.
I was lucky that she had maintained a significant antibody level but was not sure what to do, so I asked my vet. Now that she is well into her 11th year, he recommended that, as an alternative to automatically giving her the core vaccine, to routinely titer test. Using the results he will be able to determine if vaccination is absolutely necessary in her senior years.