Titre testing in puppies
Puppies and Titre Testing
What about puppy vaccinations?
Can we be sure they work every time?
Surprisingly: We can’t!
And strangely enough, we very rarely do anything about it.
Puppies are protected against diseases through antibodies that they get from their mum while feeding from her. These ‘Maternally Derived Antibodies’ (MDA) disappear after a few weeks, leaving the puppy at risk of catching these diseases, and this is when we vaccinate.
However, if we vaccinate too early, while there are still MDAs present, they will deactivate the vaccine and it will not protect the puppy. This is why we vaccinate puppies twice, in case the first one didn’t take (because MDAs where still present).
But MDAs can still be present up to 12 or even 16 weeks of age. Many puppies finish their vaccination course before that.
Are they protected? We don’t know!
This is why dogs get another dose of the full vaccine at their first booster at 1 year old- to catch those that weren’t covered after the puppy vaccination.
But that means that, if the puppy vaccine didn’t ‘take’, this dog is not protected for the whole year until their first booster! And this is the age when they are most vulnerable to catch these diseases!
So here is another, very good opportunity to titre test.
We can test puppies from 20 weeks old (4 weeks or more after their last puppy vaccine) and check if they have responded.
If they haven’t, they can then have another vaccine, which at this age should almost certainly work (a very small percentage of dogs doesn’t respond to vaccines at all, and that’s also useful to know!).
I have titre tested a number of young dogs, who had had their puppy vaccination course as per normal, and who weren’t protected!
This is scary stuff that we should all know about!
I highly recommend to titre test puppies at 20 weeks old, to catch any that haven’t responded.
Ask for a titre test 4 weeks after your puppy’s second vaccination, or come to one of our popular Titre Testing Sessions. Follow us on Facebook to find out about the next one or get in touch for more information.
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We'll arrange any follow up appointments as needed, and will keep your vet clinic informed.