Should I Vaccinate Or Titer Test My Pet? - Everything You Need To Know!
As responsible pet parents, we strive to ensure the health and well-being of our little ones. Vaccines play a crucial role in preventing infectious diseases and promoting the overall health of our pets, however, many wonder if the standard vaccine schedule fits every pet’s needs.
The traditional approach of administering vaccines on a strict schedule may be ideal for most pets, but there are some that may not need their boosters as often as others. Whether your little one has vaccine reactions or you’re simply worried about over-vaccination, this is where titer testing comes into play!
Our goal at Vetted is to empower pet parents through education, so we’re here to discuss everything you need to know about titer testing in your little one. Let’s break down what titer testing is, if it actually works, and whether or not it can benefit your pet!
If you have any specific questions about your pet’s vaccines, be sure to download the Vetted app and reach out to our Vet Pros in the 24/7 pet parent guidance center. We are always here for you!
What is Titer Testing?
Vaccine titer testing in pets measures the concentration of antibodies in an animal's blood that can fight specific diseases. These antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to previous vaccinations or exposure, and they will jump into action if your little one is ever exposed to the disease down the line. These titer tests can measure the level of protective antibodies in your pet’s bloodstream, and offer an indication of how much protection your pet has against the disease in the future.
What is the purpose of titer testing in pets?
Titer testing is designed to monitor the immunity to certain viruses in pets. While some pets will develop excellent antibody levels that can protect them for long periods after an initial vaccine, others will not. When interpreted correctly, titer testing can determine how frequently an individual pet needs to be vaccine boosted.
Traditionally, veterinarians have relied on a fixed vaccination schedule to ensure pets are protected against infectious diseases. However, this approach may result in vaccinating some pets that already have ample protection. The goal of vaccine titer testing is to offer a more personalized and evidence-based approach to the vaccine schedule.
Why is titer testing ideal for some pets?
So, why do some pet parents titer test before vaccine boosting their pet? Let’s list a few common reasons why!
- The pet experiences allergic reactions to certain vaccines
- The pet has an immune-mediated condition
- The pet has immunosuppression
- The pet parent is concerned with over-vaccination
If you are concerned about your pet’s current vaccination schedule for any reason, you can always ask your vet about titer testing before their next booster is due.
Is titer testing effective for all pet vaccines?
While titer testing can be a wonderful tool to measure your pet’s protection against infectious diseases, it is not yet ideal for measuring certain antibodies. At the moment, titer testing offers the most effective measure of immunity to the following infectious viruses:
At the moment, a rabies titer test and other core vaccine titer tests are most accurate. Titer testing may not be accurate enough to measure your pet's immunity to Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, or Bordetella.
Should you titer test or vaccinate your pet?
Ultimately, you and your vet should work together to make the best decision for your little one, but we always want you to be informed about your options! Your veterinarian will consider factors such as your pet's age, medical history, lifestyle, and local disease prevalence in your region. After considering the factors we just listed, you and your vet can make an informed decision on what’s best for your pet!
If you’re interested in titer testing and you live in the Chicago area, we offer titer testing at our Vetted Wellness Centers! Just schedule an appointment here!