What Is Titer Test For Dogs?
Like humans, dogs also require vaccines they should take in their lifetime. The main reason for taking a shot is to preserve the health of all dogs. Vaccinations mean the dog will have immunity for certain diseases and will not be infected if he comes in close contact.
However, vaccination is a topic for many discussions among dog owners. Most of them don't have a problem with their dog taking the vaccine, but they are most concerned about the expiration date of certain vaccines.
As you may know, some laws require that your dog regularly receive a proper vaccination shot once a year, although your dog could still be protected from the previous shot. Many owners think that too much vaccination can harm their dogs, and this is where titer testing comes to mind.
By simply having blood work done on your dog, you can quickly find out if your dog needs further vaccination or whether or not he is fully protected. With this, you will secure that your dog doesn’t receive unnecessary vaccination and doesn't experience side effects from over-vaccination. Here is everything you need to know about titer tests for dogs.
What is a titer test for dogs?
The titer test tests antibodies against a specific disease that the dog has in his system. With this test, you can determine if your dog is protected. Dogs system will create antibodies that will protect your dog.
Antibodies in a dog’s body will be produced in two cases
- If your dog receives a proper vaccine
- After getting infected with a specific disease
The titer test will measure the exact number of antibodies your dog has in his system. With this test you can ensure that you don't over-vaccinate your dog.
What is involved in this test?
When taking the titer test, your vet will take a blood sample from your dog and run it through to see the number of antibodies against the certain disease. If the number is high, your dog is protected and has enough antibodies to fight that specific disease. For the majority of dogs, this immunity protection will happen because of the vaccine.
If the titer test shows a lower value, your dog may not be protected and doesn't have enough antibodies necessary for full protection. He may still have some protection left, but at this time, you should discuss revaccinating your dog to get him fully protected again.
What can be tested with the titer test?
Some of the most common dog diseases can be tested with titer tests. This test will only let you know if your dog has the required protection. However, if your state law determines that your dog should get regular vaccination, the titer test will serve less help.
That means that your dog could take a titer test, and the result may show that he is fully protected, but because of the law, your dog will still have to get regular revaccination.
This is most commonly seen with rabies. The majority of countries across the world have strict laws against rabies, and they require mandatory vaccination against rabies.
GOOD TO KNOW: Even when your dog has been vaccinated against rabies, if you want to enter a different country with your dog, federal law can demand to see the titer test result. In other words, they want to see if your dog is indeed fully protected, even though he is vaccinated.
The titer test is most commonly used for
A titer test is not recommended for
How often should titer tests be performed?
Amount of titer tests performed for your dog can vary, and different vets will have different suggestions. You first need to know that, in most cases, titer tests will be far more expensive than just vaccinating your dog.
Most owners are concerned with unnecessarily revaccinating dogs because there could be some side effects. You need to understand that side effects from the vaccination are rare, and we don't think this should be of much concern to you.
Depending on your vet and his practice, he may suggest that titer testing your dog should be done once a year to be safe, while others can suggest testing in periods from 3-5 years. There is no correct answer to this question.
What you must understand as a dog owner is that dogs need their vaccination to stay protected. This is especially true when it comes to puppies. Their immunity can wear off, which is why the boosters are required.
Is the titer test right for your dog?
Titer tests are far more expensive than vaccination, and now you might wonder why you would consider titer tests for your dog. However, there could be a few situations where titer testing will be a far better choice than just revaccination of your dog.
Situations where the titer test can be a better option than vaccination include
- If you travel with your dog to the area and countries, your dog could be exposed to certain diseases
- If your dog suffers from a certain disease
- If your dog is taking certain meds
- If your dog has a reaction to vaccination
- After adopting a dog with unclear medical and vaccination history
Depending on your dog's case, the best thing you can do is to speak with your vet. We assure you that your vet will suggest the best possible option for you and your dog.
How to protect your dog from diseases?
To protect your dog from various diseases, you must take proper steps. If you are still determining what is important for your dog to get, speak with your vet. He will guide you through all the necessary vaccinations your dog needs.
You must regularly take your dog to the vet for a check-up, and whenever you notice that your dog starts to act differently, contact your vet and ask for an opinion.
Your dog should be protected against fleas and ticks since they are the most common parasites that can infect your dog.
World Dog Finder team