Helping Golden Retrievers and Their Owners in Central Texas
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Ask a Vet: Vaccinations vs. Antibody Titers
Submitted by Dr. Ron Stried, GRR Medical Director
Veterinarians have been recommending annual boosters for years, doing so in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. But differences of opinion exist between veterinarians: many recommend adult dogs should receive core vaccines at 3-year intervals (or longer) while other veterinarians believe adult dogs should receive core vaccines annually.
When a veterinarian administers a vaccine, the pet is injected with a preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen; this stimulates antibody production or immunity against that particular pathogen.
Those veterinarians who were skeptical of triennial (3 year) vaccination recommendations began measuring antibody titers from individual patients to assess duration of immunity (DOI) and to determine whether a patient required revaccination.
An antibody titer is simply a laboratory test that measures the level of antibodies in a pet’s blood sample. The antibody level in the blood sample reveals whether the pet’s immune system is able to attack and fight off pathogens—without the need for additional vaccinations.
In order to understand the results of an antibody titer, tests typically record results as positive or negative and include a brief description of the results’ significance.
Today, in-clinic (tests completed in a vet clinic) titer test kits offer testing for canine distemper (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine adenovirus (CAV).
Therefore, when these in-clinic tests are performed properly: a positive test result indicates the patient does have protective levels of antibody against the virus—meaning the patient inherently has the ability to fight off the antigen.
A negative test result indicates the patient does not have protective levels of circulating antibody. However, a negative test result does not necessarily define susceptibility—or a vulnerability of contracting the particular antigen.
Factors that influence antibody response following vaccination include: age, antigen type, vaccination history, health status, genetics, and maternally-derived antibody (antibodies passed on to the offspring through nursing).
Current vaccination guidelines recommend administration of the last dose of core vaccines at 14-16 weeks of age. Antibody titers may be determined as early as 2-4 weeks following completion of the initial vaccination series. A puppy that is seronegative (lacking the antibody to fight off a specific disease) at 18 weeks of age should be revaccinated not less than 2 weeks following the last dose.
Because vaccinations and antibody titers are quite complex subjects, if you have further questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for answers to those questions in next month’s Gold Ribbon Rescue newsletter.
Adopt a Golden: Duke aka Choppers #13-001
Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Blackwell, Matchmaker
How long have you been volunteering with GRR?
10 months, but it feels like a lifetime
What made you want to volunteer with GRR?
Of course my first thought is for the dogs, but the GRR people are amazing! It is truly a team effort and everyone is so kind.
What volunteer position do you hold?
Matchmaker. But I also foster, help with intake and do home visits.
Explain the activities you participate in as you fulfill this position.
I keep up with all dogs in foster care and talk to approved families to find the right
fit for the dog; it's all about what is best for the dogs.
About how many hours do you typically spend volunteering in this position?
I spend about 4 hours a day.
What is your favorite part about volunteering in this position?
I LOVE seeing these deserving dogs go to their forever home where they will be
loved like they should be. I also love seeing/hearing how a great match can heal
someone's heart when they have lost their dog.
Describe a cute/funny/interesting story while volunteering in this position.
I have met so many incredible dogs and families that I know I'll be friends with for
a long time.
Give one piece of advice for volunteers interested in serving in this position.
You must love people as well as dogs. It’s an awesome experience.
Want to get involved with GRR? Send an email to email@example.com.
Where Are They Now?
Congrats to Bishop (Simpson #12-117) who is now registered as a Pet Partners/Delta Society Therapy Dog. After his previous owner surrendered this good-natured golden to GRR, Bishop was then adopted to his third and final owner, Monie Fulmer. Fulmer soon enrolled Bishop in a basic obedience class for the fun of it; neither Fulmer nor Bishop knew at the time this would be his forte. Now as a certified therapy dog, his first assignment will be working with the R.E.A.D. program in the Belton/Temple areas. The R.E.A.D. program's mission is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors. Bishop’s mom says, “To think this jewel could have been lost. Saving these jewels is what you all do. Because of your efforts he will bring comfort, healing, and joy to many in his community.” Congrats and good luck!
Why Join GRR?
By joining GRR, you are helping to cover costs of our rescue not included in the adoption fee.
Basic membership starts at $40.00 per year and allows you to attend and vote at our general meetings. It also includes electronic delivery of our newsletter for a year, invitations to dog and human social events, and our annual Picnic in the Park.
100% of your donation goes towards meeting the needs of GRR dogs. The more money GRR receives, the more Goldens we are able to reach.
· $40 pays for microchipping of one dog
· $100 pays for Rabies, DHLPP, Bordetella, Heartworm test and fecal exam for one dog
· $200 pays for one complete male workup including shots and castration
· $230 pays for one complete female workup including shots and hysterectomy
· $650+ pays for heartworm treatment for one dog
- an additional $325 needed for dogs requiring x-rays and bloodwork
To become a member or renew a membership, click the link below to access the GRR Membership page.
2013 Goldens, as of June 30
Upcoming Events: Sip and Swim at Fawncrest Winery
Fawncrest Winery will host a wine tasting for GRR members on September 14th.
This event was a big hit last year offering GRR members an opportunity to socialize with one another while drinking some fine wine.
Members can bring a dish to snack on while the winery gives GRR a deal: $10.00 for two glasses. Each person pays for the wine he/she consumes.
Look for more details soon in next month’s newsletter.
Link to Fawncrest Winery: