Holiday Season is fast approaching and it’s almost time for us all to take a well-earned break – including your dog. Holiday time for your dog, whether it’s at the local boarding kennels or at the crib, sees an increased risk of exposure to diseases.
Does your dog need vaccinating, or are they already protected?
All young dogs require vaccinations to provide protection but what about those who are over 1 year of age? International and NZ vaccination guidelines identify vaccinations as either Core (Essential) or Non-core (Optional). In dogs, core vaccines are for Canine Distemper (CDV), Parvovirus (CPV) and Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH). Optional vaccines include Canine Cough and Leptospirosis. These optional vaccinations need to be administered annually as the duration of immunity (how long a vaccine lasts) is short lived and generally less than a year.
So how long does a vaccine last?
If they’re off to a boarding kennel, a booster for Canine Cough (Optional vaccine) will be required before admission. The current recommended vaccine frequency for core vaccines is every 3 years. However, the immune response is very individual – vaccine-produced immunity to the core vaccines may actually last less than 3 years and for other a lot longer – maybe even a lifetime.
What is over-vaccination and what effect can it have on your pet?
Core vaccines protect our pets from serious infectious diseases and it is rare to see any side effects from the vaccines. However if your dog has an immunity to the diseases then vaccinating is unnecessary.
How can we reduce over-vaccination?
We now have the ability to perform a blood test called a titre test (Pronounced Tight-er). This test is recommended and endorsed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and is used to check and describe the level of protective antibodies (disease fighting immune cells) in the blood.
What’s the Bottom line on testing?
After many years of published studies in peer-reviewed papers, it has been shown that titres to Core (Essential) vaccines, together with natural exposure, may last a minimum of 7-9 years and are likely present for life.
The bottom line?
Titre testing to measure your dog’s immunity means your pet may be able to avoid an unnecessary vaccination. If you are uncertain about whether your dog is protected, simply give us a call – it’s easy to check and be sure.