At Always Helpful Veterinary Services in Nottingham, PA, we get a lot of questions regarding the frequency and need for vaccines and titers typically used for our furry companions. The conventional long-standing practice has been to vaccinate every year, usually with the pet’s annual wellness check-up. The frequency of vaccination is now based on scientific information and the accumulated evidence indicates that vaccination protocols used in the past should no longer be considered as a “one size fits all” program.
We know now that giving annual boosters is not necessary and is likely to be of little benefit to the pet’s existing level of protection against these infectious diseases. It also increases the risk of adverse reactions from repeated exposure to foreign substances.
In addition to vaccines, we offer titer testing, which is a simple blood test that measures antibodies to vaccine viruses (or other infectious agents). Titers accurately assess protection to core diseases (distemper, parvovirus, rabies, hepatitis in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats, rhino, flu, encephalitis in horses), enabling us to determine whether a booster vaccination is necessary.
Vaccines do play an important role in the animal’s welfare. They are necessary and, when applied in the correct format, are effective and reduce the incidence of disease. It is important to tailor an appropriate vaccine and titer regimen for the individual animal. Studies show that 92-98% of pets that have been properly vaccinated with the core vaccines can show immunity for a minimum of 7-9 years, and likely for life.
We look forward to discussing with you optimal and compliant vaccine/titer programs that will meet the unique needs of your cat, dog, horse, or other animals. It’s our goal to provide the highest level of care for your pet, and minimal vaccination and titers are an integral part of your pets’ overall health. Please contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your pets’ vaccination needs.