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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to move to New Zealand. Import req's demand a rabies titre result of 0.5 (I've lost the units . . . they don't mean anything to me). One of my three dogs, who has been vaccinated at MORE than the recommended schedule, titred out at only 0.29, thus she FAILED. This adds two months to my travel schedule. BUMMER :hurt: Will end out costing me several thousand dollars.

Take home message: Titre testing doesn't tell you what you need to know. It's expensive (cost me $176 +$77 postage and handling) and the results may tell you nothing.

I sure wish I hadn't paid attention to the anti-vaccination camp's recommendations about avoiding unnecessary vaccinations.
 

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That stinks :(.

Would they have accepted just getting a rabies shot? I though even a new vaccine had to be titered to avoid quarantine.
 

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That stinks :(.

Would they have accepted just getting a rabies shot? I though even a new vaccine had to be titered to avoid quarantine.
No. They require the rabies shot in any case. I have to do a rabies shot (done now), then wait a few weeks so it raises (hopefully) an immune response, then do another titre. She can only be imported three months after the blood draw from a titre test that passes the test. Nominally, the three months is necessary to make sure that the positive titre wasn't caused by having rabies. It's overkill, but I can understand going to great lengths to avoid introducing rabies into a rabies-free island. Also have to do serology to show absence of i) Babesia canis ii) Babesia gibsoni iii) Brucella canis iv) Canine transmissible venereal tumour v) Filariosis (canine heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis) vi) Leptospirosis (Leptospira interrogans serovar canicola) within one month of departure . . . as well as usual vet health check and check for external parasites.
 

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It may not have been the vaccine schedule to blame. Some dogs just don't hold onto immunity from vaccines. They can be vaccinated and then titred and show low numbers just like your girl.
 

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It happens in people, too.

I had to get a MMR vaccination after I had both my kids, 2 years apart, because I titered at no immunity to measles. In spite of having the vaccinations on a regular schedule and *actually having had* at least measles and rubella - in the midst of the regular vaccinations. For whatever reason, it just wasn't (and hasn't since) stuck.
 

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I'm confused as to how this is a draw back on titre testing or a negative for routine (which may not mean yearly though) vaccinations. There are a percentage of vaccinated individuals-- dogs, cats, horses, humans, and pretty much any other vaccinated being-- that do not produce an immune response. Hence the extra importance of herd immunity. When some individuals are simply unable to become immune, they rely on the rest of the people/animals to not be passing those diseases on to them.

I can see how it could be a very problematic issue when immigrating between countries, but not how it makes a difference in vaccine protocol overall.
 

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I'm confused as to how this is a draw back on titre testing or a negative for routine (which may not mean yearly though) vaccinations. There are a percentage of vaccinated individuals-- dogs, cats, horses, humans, and pretty much any other vaccinated being-- that do not produce an immune response. Hence the extra importance of herd immunity. When some individuals are simply unable to become immune, they rely on the rest of the people/animals to not be passing those diseases on to them.

I can see how it could be a very problematic issue when immigrating between countries, but not how it makes a difference in vaccine protocol overall.
The drawback of titre testing is that it doesn't tell you what you want to know: is the animal immune. You still don't know if they fail the test. They may fail and still be immune via memory cells. Say your dog fails a titre test . . . but has a strong history of vaccinations. Do you then re-vaccinate to get the titre up, or assume it's good?
 

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The drawback of titre testing is that it doesn't tell you what you want to know: is the animal immune. You still don't know if they fail the test. They may fail and still be immune via memory cells. Say your dog fails a titre test . . . but has a strong history of vaccinations. Do you then re-vaccinate to get the titre up, or assume it's good?
But that would depend on the titer and on the disease as a judgement call. It tells you a lot more than just giving a vaccine and guessing basically. A high titer gives solid info, a low titer becomes an "if" and in the case of something as serious as rabies, re-vaccination is a reasonable choice. Rabies vaccines aren't given to dogs to protect them. Rabies vaccines are given to dogs to protect us humans.

For humans at least, here's the CDC guidance--

"What does a rabies virus titer mean?
A rabies antibody titer is essentially an estimation of an immune response against rabies virus (either through exposure or vaccination). The RFFIT is one method which provides a laboratory measurement of the ability of an individual human or animal serum sample to neutralize rabies virus.
There is no "protective" titer against rabies virus. In animal studies, survival against rabies virus infection is often more likely to occur the higher an animal's titer at time of infection, but not a definite indicator of survival. For example in one study of orally vaccinated raccoons 39% of animals with no detectable titer at infection (<0.05 IU/mL) survived, compared to 90% of animals with a titer between 0.05-0.49 and 100% of animals with a titer >0.5 IU/mL. Mounting a rapid antibody response (referred to as an anamnestic response) is often a better indicator of surviving exposure which is one reason additional doses of vaccine are recommended after an exposure, to ensure a rapid antibody response, even if a person has been previously vaccinated."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But that would depend on the titer and on the disease as a judgement call. It tells you a lot more than just giving a vaccine and guessing basically. A high titer gives solid info, a low titer becomes an "if" and in the case of something as serious as rabies, re-vaccination is a reasonable choice. Rabies vaccines aren't given to dogs to protect them. Rabies vaccines are given to dogs to protect us humans.

For humans at least, here's the CDC guidance--

"What does a rabies virus titer mean?
A rabies antibody titer is essentially an estimation of an immune response against rabies virus (either through exposure or vaccination). The RFFIT is one method which provides a laboratory measurement of the ability of an individual human or animal serum sample to neutralize rabies virus.
There is no "protective" titer against rabies virus. In animal studies, survival against rabies virus infection is often more likely to occur the higher an animal's titer at time of infection, but not a definite indicator of survival. For example in one study of orally vaccinated raccoons 39% of animals with no detectable titer at infection (<0.05 IU/mL) survived, compared to 90% of animals with a titer between 0.05-0.49 and 100% of animals with a titer >0.5 IU/mL. Mounting a rapid antibody response (referred to as an anamnestic response) is often a better indicator of surviving exposure which is one reason additional doses of vaccine are recommended after an exposure, to ensure a rapid antibody response, even if a person has been previously vaccinated."
It's different for dogs, who are normally on a regular vaccination routine, as opposed to humans, who are rarely vaccinated. If a dog is exposed to rabies, immediate vaccination is recommended . . . whatever the titer. Getting the titer done is slow, and waiting for a titer result would greatly increase the risk of infection.

My beef is that I had intended to give an extra vaccination on the three year schedule to make sure the titer was high . . . also because NZ requires vaccination within a year of import . . . and my vet, who is hard line on the three year routine and doesn't approve of additional vaccinations, talked me out of it.
 

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It's different for dogs, who are normally on a regular vaccination routine, as opposed to humans, who are rarely vaccinated. If a dog is exposed to rabies, immediate vaccination is recommended . . . whatever the titer. Getting the titer done is slow, and waiting for a titer result would greatly increase the risk of infection.

My beef is that I had intended to give an extra vaccination on the three year schedule to make sure the titer was high . . . also because NZ requires vaccination within a year of import . . . and my vet, who is hard line on the three year routine and doesn't approve of additional vaccinations, talked me out of it.
AFAIK, they don't titer people or dogs if exposed directly to rabies. Just vaccinate. The quarantine varies legally though for dogs and 3 yr vs 1 yr vaccines are recognized differently in some locations. Humans aren't often vaccinated for rabies, but I was thinking both of the overall vaccination and titer question and the specific question towards rabies.

I was led a bit astray when I read "One of my three dogs, who has been vaccinated at MORE than the recommended schedule, titred out at only 0.29, thus she FAILED." as meaning she was vaccinated yearly or more since many vets and governments are still on the yearly requirement, rather than every 3 years and couldn't figure out how you'd be upset that you hadn't given a vaccine on a tighter schedule than 1 year.

I think your beef is with your vet rather than titers or NZ. If NZ requires vaccination within one year of import, you vaccinate within one year of import.
 
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