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Vaccines are in that realm of questionable medical solutions. There is ample evidence that they can result in autoimmune disorders and other major health problems. As a result, making sure not to overvaccinate your English Bulldog is a worthwhile endeavour for you to undertake. Doing so will only extend the lifespan of this breed that is already prone to very short times on this earth.
Vaccine Titer Testing
I had heard about this a few times, and wanted to share my experience this week with it. After your dog is vaccinated, antibodies are created which protect them from infection of specific viruses and illnesses. Vaccinations can also simply result in a reduced severity, which can mean the difference between life and death for the harder-to-clear viral infections out there. Once antibodies have been produced, tests can be run which will tell you exactly how much immune protection your dog has for the illnesses he/she was vaccinated for.
Allow me to state for the record: Anytime your vet rattles off the need for "yearly vaccinations", I would advise you to politely, and silently ignore them. This is a false and dangerous bit of advice that is powered by a lack of research on the part of those in the medical community. Just like our doctors do with antibiotics, vaccines are handed out to animals in mass quantities, and frequencies that are far too often.
As a puppy, all the necessary shots are advised. Some need a follow up shot at 16+ weeks as well. To my knowledge, this is both important and necessary.
After this stage however, at the 1 year mark, I would highly recommend getting Titer (pronounced Tie Ter) testing. This week after being told Baxter was due for his yearly vaccination shots, instead of just mindlessly saying "okay shoot him up!" I asked for Titer testing. These tests can tell you whether or not you even need to give another vaccination. If you do some research you will find that most of the puppy vaccinations (aside from Rabies) are good nearly for their entire lives. At least that is true when they "take".
The Titer tests may not be instantly available from your local vet. Mine had to call their lab and get the protocol for pulling the blood and sending it in. They got the cost for me, as well. For roughly $100 I was able to get Baxter tested for immunity to the four main illnesses:
A few days later the results came back. Results can be a little confusing, so make sure your doctor gets the correct information from the vet. There's a bit of a "backwards" sounding results sheet. For example, Baxters looked like this:
Coronavirus IgG - 1:50 - ABNORMAL
Parvovirus IgG - 1:200 - ABNORMAL
Distemper IgG - <1:50 - NORMAL
Adenovirus IgG - 1:50 - ABNORMAL
Interpreting Titer test results for canine vaccinations is a funny twist on what you might expect. The above results indicate that Baxter is fully immune to everything except Distemper. Reading above you might think he failed the test for immunity on 3 of them because they are labeled ABNORMAL. As it turns out, "Abnormal" is simply a flag that shows up when antibodies are found. Since we want antibodies, abnormal means Baxter has developed immunity. Therefore all the items marked ABNORMAL are all the viruses he is fully vaccinated for. He does not need more vaccines for those three.
Additionally - the lower the numbers, the lower the level of protection he has. As long as he is 1:50 or higher, he is sufficiently protected. As you can see, on the one he is <1:50 (less than), he has not developed any immunity. This in fact is the one he failed, and the one test he needs vaccination for.
So make sure your doctor knows: ABNORMAL means he's fully protected and does not need another vaccine shot. And the higher the number, the greater the protection.
Since Baxter is so highly vaccinated against Parvo, I will not vaccinate him again for it, and likely will not redo the Titer for another 5-6 years.
Since Baxter has just sufficient immunity for Corona and Adeno, I will not vaccinate him again for it, but I will do another Titer in a year or two at the most.
Since Baxter shows no immune defense against Distemper, I will be getting him a Distemper (and ONLY a distemper) vaccine shot ASAP.
Thats the last issue. Your vet may tell you that these vaccines only come in batches. If you want one, you have to get the "3 in one" This is false. It will take a little legwork and effort on the part of the vet, but they can find the individual vaccine for the individual virus if they try. And that's what my vet is doing. Otherwise, why bother doing a Titer test if you're just going to vaccinate for everything?
Hope this helps some people out there. Don't overvaccinate your dogs. Don't just get shots for them every year. Get Titers for them, and spare their immune systems from unnecessary overstimulation that can result in disease.
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Great post. I just wish more cities and counties would accept titer testing.
Bulldogs are like potato chips. You just can't stop with one.
I posted this Article back in July regarding Immunity, and if Yearly Vaccinations were Necessary.
Lifelong Immunity, Are Yearly Vaccinations Neccessary.
This article came up on my FB page. It's interesting information regarding if yearly vaccinations are necessary.
Lifelong Immunity – Why Vets Are Pushing Back
by Dogs Naturally Magazine in Bordetella, Vaccine Articles
The duration of immunity for Rabies vaccine, Canine distemper vaccine, Canine Parvovirus vaccine, Feline Panleukopenia vaccine, Feline Rhinotracheitis, feline Calicivirus, have all been demonstrated to be a minimum of 7 years by serology for rabies and challenge studies for all others.
In the Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and What We Don’t Know, Proceedings – Canine Infectious Diseases: From Clinics to Molecular Pathogenesis, Ithaca, NY, 1999, Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist at the forefront of vaccine research and chair of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Pathobiological Sciences, outlines the DOI for the following vaccines:
Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines:
Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.” “Are we vaccinating too much?” JAVMA, No. 4, August 15, 1995, pg. 421.
Yet vets continue to vaccinate annually. Dog owners feel that their vets are doing their dogs a great service by vaccinating every three years instead of annually – why do we allow it when these studies were done over thirty years ago and have been replicated time and again by other researchers?
Ian Tizard states: “With modified live virus vaccines like canine parvovirus, canine distemper and feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis the virus in the vaccine must replicate to stimulate the immune system. In a patient that has been previously immunized, antibodies from the previous vaccine will block the replication of the new vaccinal virus. Antibody titers are not significantly boosted. Memory cell populations are not expanded. The immune status of the patient is not enhanced.
After the second rabies vaccination, re-administration of rabies vaccine does not enhance the immune status of the patient at one or two year intervals. We do not know the interval at which re-administration of vaccines will enhance the immunity of a significant percentage of the pet population, but it is certainly not at one or two year intervals. Tizard Ian, Yawei N, Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals, JAVMA, vol 213, No 1, July 1, 1998.
“The recommendation for annual re-vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978.” says Dr. Schultz. “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good humoral antibody levels blocks the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals.”
He adds: “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated. Annual vaccination for diseases caused by CDV, CPV2, FPLP and FeLV has not been shown to provide a level of immunity any different from the immunity in an animal vaccinated and immunized at an early age and challenged years later. We have found that annual revaccination with the vaccines that provide long-term immunity provides no demonstrable benefit.”
Why then, have vets not embraced the concept of lifelong immunity in dogs?
“Profits are what vaccine critics believe is at the root of the profession’s resistance to update its protocols. Without the lure of vaccines, clients might be less inclined to make yearly veterinary visits. Vaccines add up to 14 percent of the average practice’s income, AAHA reports, and veterinarians stand to lose big. I suspect some are ignoring my work,” says Schultz, who claims some distemper vaccines last as long as 15 years. “Tying vaccinations into the annual visit became prominent in the 1980s and a way of practicing in the 1990s. Now veterinarians don’t want to give it up.”
The report of the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003)3 includes the following information for vets:
Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination’; ‘Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination.
‘This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.’
Both the AAHA and the AVMA must do more to “step up to the plate” says noted immunologist, Dr. Richard Ford. But the reality is the vets do not have to listen to the AAHA or the AVMA and it appears the state veterinary medical boards are not interested in enforcing vaccine schedules, opting to leave it up to the individual vet.
Dr. Bob Rogers hired a Chicago based law firm and initiated a class action suit for pet owners who were not given informed consent and full disclosure prior to vaccination administration. His article entitled “The Courage to Embrace the Truth”, states “While attending conferences like WSVMA and NAVMC I have asked over 400 DVMs from various parts of the country if they attended the seminars on New Vaccination Protocols. I was told by all but one, “I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.” One DVM here on VIN even said “I am not changing until the AVMA makes me change.”
It seems that pet owners are against the wall when it comes to vaccination. The obvious conclusion is that pet owners who are concerned about the long term health of their companion animals must take it upon themselves to research vaccines, duration of immunity and vaccine dangers. At the very least, question every vaccine that goes into your animal – but none of the above information indicates you will get an honest or well-informed answer.
Be your dog’s advocate – protect him with knowledge and by taking a stand against unnecessary vaccination. His life may depend on it!
LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.
i want to do this as well. For me around here though, it is not a question of whether the vet will do titer testing, it is whether the county and the dog day care will accept the results. Good info though. You are lucky to have been able to do it for $100 for all four. Here, they are $100 per test
"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie
Great information. Thanks.
great info.... Cheli goes for his annual tomorrow night and Iwill be asking about this
There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your life.
Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings
I love this. The problem that I would have is my vet already thinks i'm a nut when it comes to my boys. Not that I really care, but he hates it when I question him on anything. It makes for an interesting visit.
My smooshy face boy!
OK I'm sure it was covered but what do they say about Bordetella vaccines..
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Thanks for this information just in time for our vet visit (with planned vaccination) next week! We have no records of Buttercup's puppy shots as her former vet lost them, so the vet suggested starting over as she's probably about 3 years old. We held off on vaccination due to ongoing skin issues, so I'd rather give her only the vaccines she needs to minimize immune system-mediated skin problems.
We do titer testing in humans for things like Hepatitis B virus to determine whether repeat vaccination is needed. It makes good sense so I will ask the vet at our visit.