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Discussion Starter #1
Are they even worth it?

Jackson got his puppy vaccines and then one year later got a DHPP booster and rabies on a different day.

His rabies tag says 2010 so I guess he's not due until 2013 for that (as per the law). For some reason I was thinking he was due this year.

Anyways, when it comes time for the vet to tell us he's due for DHPP (which were initially said to be "good" for 3 years), I'm going to inform them I am done with vaccines (besides rabies every 3). I'm following Dr. Dodd's protocol.

At that point, should I even request titers or do you think they are a waste of money for us? I've never been anywhere where they have asked for a copy of his DHPP (we don't do boarding, daycare, and we use a mobile groomer, etc) so wouldn't that be the only reason to provide "titers" in place of vaccine records? Also, doesn't a low titer not necessarily prove that they need another booster and on the flip side... a high titer doesn't necessarily mean they're 100% immune either? I guess I'm just confused on the issue.

I'm not too worried about letting our vet know. I think they'll support it. I've always been comfortable to talk with our current vet. They have a holistic vet on staff, who I've never seen before, but may request to see her at our next appointment possibly.
 

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I wouldn't bother unless you needed "proof" for something like boarding or training class.
 

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It depends for me. I personally like to prepare as much as possible for "could be" so to speak. If I were not to vaccinate my dogs I would want titers to prove immunity. This would be partially because my dogs are regular boarders and I need them and partially because my dogs need immunity. I live in a very large, very dog friendly apt complex (there are two great danes in an apt over from me) and we all share the community dog yards and regular yards to walk/let our dogs play. My dogs are regularly experience exposure to all sorts of dogs and therefore probably have a higher risk than your dog of being exposed. I also prepare - in that if I needed to suddenly board my dogs because of a family emergency, etc I would need the titer or the vaccine record on hand to give to them in a worse case scenario.

With immunity - A titer measures the level of antibodies in the blood for a given disease. You will need to find a general guideline (you may already have one) of what ratio the titer needs to be at for most dogs to be immune. You are correct in saying that a low titer doesn't necessarily mean the dog is not immune and a high titer does not guarantee the dog is immune. It only measures antibodies and it varies from dog to dog (and person to person) on how many antibodies are required to adequately detect and respond to an infection when the dog is exposed to the disease in order to prevent the disease from "taking hold."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It depends for me. I personally like to prepare as much as possible for "could be" so to speak. If I were not to vaccinate my dogs I would want titers to prove immunity. This would be partially because my dogs are regular boarders and I need them and partially because my dogs need immunity. I live in a very large, very dog friendly apt complex (there are two great danes in an apt over from me) and we all share the community dog yards and regular yards to walk/let our dogs play. My dogs are regularly experience exposure to all sorts of dogs and therefore probably have a higher risk than your dog of being exposed. I also prepare - in that if I needed to suddenly board my dogs because of a family emergency, etc I would need the titer or the vaccine record on hand to give to them in a worse case scenario.

With immunity - A titer measures the level of antibodies in the blood for a given disease. You will need to find a general guideline (you may already have one) of what ratio the titer needs to be at for most dogs to be immune. You are correct in saying that a low titer doesn't necessarily mean the dog is not immune and a high titer does not guarantee the dog is immune. It only measures antibodies and it varies from dog to dog (and person to person) on how many antibodies are required to adequately detect and respond to an infection when the dog is exposed to the disease in order to prevent the disease from "taking hold."
Actually, your dogs would probably be considered lower risk, from everything I've read. Dogs who are indoors all the time and never exposed to anything are at a higher risk of getting sick.

I found this link interesting: http://cynoanarchist.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/vaccine-titers-useful-tool-or-waste-o-money/#comments

But thank you guys! Jackson will most likely NEVER be boarded, or attend daycare, etc. But I do kind of agree... It'd be nice to have the titers to "prove" his immunity if anything were to come up.
 

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FWIW, I had Dr. Dodds' lab do my pup's titer in December for $42. (I think it is $45 now.) You can download the form from her website. I filled it out, added my CC number for payment, and took it to my vet when I took my girl in for a rabies shot and heartworm test. The vet drew the blood at that time, and sent it in via USPS. The lab emailed both my vet and me with the results in a couple weeks.

My dog had received her first Vax at the breeders, and at my vet's at 15 or 16 weeks. I put off her rabies til almost 6 months. Her titer results were just fine, and she did not need a booster at a year, of course. She is done with her shots, save for the legally required rabies.

My vet was surprised at how inexpensive Dr.Dodds' lab was, as the lab her practice usually used was much more expensive. I wasn't charged extra for the blood draw, or for sending the sample in. I have since referred several people to her, as some vets around here are nasty about doing titers.
 
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