VACCINE ANTIBODY TITERS
Southport Veterinary Center is updating our vaccination protocol to better reflect recent advances regarding vaccination safety and longevity. Laboratories are now capable of measuring the amount of antibody protection against given diseases (antibody titers) in the bloodstream. There is new evidence that these titers last much longer than previously believed. There is also evidence that excessive vaccination may cause problems including certain types of tumors in cats. Together, you and your doctor will decide which vaccinations or titers are appropriate for your pet based on informed risk/benefit. When vaccination is required we only use the safest, purest and most well tested vaccines.
Our general protocol for healthy pets in the first year will be the puppy Distemper/Parvo vaccination series(DHPP) given every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks, Rabies labelled for 1 year given once after 12 weeks and the Lyme and Leptospirosis series given as needed based on risk. We recommend the Lyme series start in the spring or fall when risk is highest. The initial series is 2 vaccines 2-3 weeks apart then once yearly. The Leptospirosis vaccine is a series of 2 initial vaccine 2-3 weeks apart then yearly that we recommend from June to November. We booster all vaccines in the second year and then reevaluate risk for Distemper Parvo based on vaccination titers in 3 years starting at the age of 4 years. If protection is adequate at that stage, no further testing or vaccination for Distemper/Parvo will be done. If the titer is low, a low charge vaccine will be given and the titer will be repeated 3 years later. Once the titer is stable no additional titers are run. You always have the option of vaccinating instead of titering as long as your dog isn’t over 7 years or infirm. The Rabies vaccine will continue to be done every three years until the state accepts Rabies titers as legally valid protection. Lyme and Lepto will be boostered annually based on risk. If your dog is infirm by age or chronic disease, yet is at risk for Lyme disease, an in-house test for Lyme may be chosen in lieu of vaccination. In addition, some breeds of dogs, particularly the small breeds, may benefit from testing rather than vaccination.
Our protocol will vary based on extent of time spent outdoors. The kitten Distemper/upper respiratory viruses series (FVRCP)will be given every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age, Rabies vaccine labeled for 1 year is given once after 12 weeks. Feline Leukemia series is given to all kittens after 12 weeks of age. The series is 2 vaccines 3-4 weeks apart. Virus testing is recommended at the 1st visit. The Distemper/upper respiratory viruses vaccine(FVRCP) will be boostered at year one and titered in 3 years starting at 4 years of age. If the titer is low, a lowered cost vaccine will be given, then titers repeated in 3 years. Once titers are stable no additional titers are run. You always have the choice to do the vaccination vs. the titering as long as your cat is not over 7 years or infirm. Rabies after year one can be given as a 1 year Purevax vaccine, a 3 year purevax vaccine or as a regular 3 year vaccine. The Purevax vaccine is the most purified and the least likely to cause reactions. The 1 year Purevax is appropriate for most cats but is only valid for exactly 1 year. If you feel it is difficult to get your cat in exactly in time, it is best to use the 3 year Purevax rabies vaccine. Feline Leukemia vaccine will be boostered yearly based on risk.