I recently took my 10-year-old dog to the vet for his annual heartworm and stool-worm test and booster shot. The vet explained to me that a new procedure called the "Vaccine Titer Profile" might benefit my older dog by eliminating the need for a booster shot if his blood was tested first and determined that his blood levels do not necessitate the booster protection.Although the titer profile was more expensive than the shot, I figured if the vaccination wasn't needed, why give it?As it turned out, the titer test showed my dog's immune system did not require the booster. Are you familiar with this blood testing, and how widespread is its acceptance in the veterinarian community?.
D.R., Livonia, MI Aug 29, 2004
Thank you for emphasizing what more and more veterinarians are doing (just as I have long advocated in this column) in order to help reduce the risk of adverse vaccination reactions.As I have also advocated, much more caution is called for in giving dogs and cats regular flea- and tick-killing chemicals. I would only use such products after fleas and ticks are found on an animal and after all alternative methods of prevention have been tried and failed -- in other words, for emergency rather than routine "preventive" use.
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