Titre tests viable alternative to pet vaccinations

“If you don’t need to stimulate an animal’s immune system with an invasive vaccine, why do it?”

A veterinarian at the Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital in Kelowna is providing an alternative for pet parents who don’t want to routinely vaccinate their cats and dogs.

Dr. Jason Rowan said with the vaccine debate raging in human medicine, those sentiments are beginning to filter out to pet owners who don’t want to subject their cat or dog to routine needle vaccinations every year.

“If you don’t need to stimulate an animal’s immune system with an invasive vaccine, why do it?” said Rowan.

“I’m not anti-vaccine. Some diseases have severe consequences and we need to protect pets from them.

“But not every pet needs every vaccine available, and often those immunizations last a lot longer than what is on the bottle.”

At his veterinary clinic, Dr. Rowan plans custom vaccine schedules for every patient, spaces out vaccines, and provides affordable titre testing.

“With titre testing, we can measure an adult cat or dog’s actual immunity, and decide if they actually need a booster or not,” he explained.

“We can avoid over-vaccination and still ensure our pets are protected. I recommend titre testing before vaccination for all my adult patients.”

To test a pet’s immunity to a certain disease, the veterinarian takes blood and measures the antibody  levels, or titres, in the blood sample.

If the titre test is positive, the animal is protected against the disease and doesn’t need a vaccine booster.

According to the Journal of Integrative Veterinary Care, Rowan points out there is excellent correlation between the presence of the antibodies and protective immunity.

Through a partnership with Kansas State University, Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital is now able to offer dog and cat titre tests even more affordably.

“We test dogs for parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus at our lab in-house, so it takes only a day and has always been inexpensive,” Rowan said.

“However, our partnership with KSU now enables us to offer rabies and cat titres at half the price we used to charge.”