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Discussion Starter #1
We all know that a positive titer means that a dog has sufficient antibodies to protect against a disease, but now I am hearing that a negative test may not mean that the dog is not protected. This is what I just read:

"But what if the titer is negative? Well, it doesn't really mean anything! Titers can only measure circulating antibodies, which only tend to hang around if your dog has been exposed to the virus. Immune memory uses a different part of the immune system that titers can't detect. So while positive titers probably mean protection ... negative titers don't mean much. Unless they're done about 3 weeks after vaccination, when the antibodies will still be high."

I don't know enough about the immune system to know what to think about this. Anybody?
 

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That makes general sense to me (and I am really an immunologist). Immunological memory responses will raise the levels of IgG after an exposure to a particular antigen any time that memory is challenged through a natural exposure or through an immunization booster. I slightly disagree with the idea that memory immunoglobulins disappear very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was hoping you would chime in! So if I were to titer every three years to decide whether to vaccinate or not, would a negative titer mean that I do need to vaccinate? I am not talking about rabies, I will do that regardless. I am talking mostly about dhpp.
 

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I would go ahead and boost that for Javelin, but maybe not for the oldsters. I have always boosted so I rather doubt the older dogs are not immune.
 

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Thanks. Zep turned 4 this year, I think I will do rabies this year and dhpp next year and then just rabies for him. I have a friend who has horses who is very interested in this subject because horses are way more overvaccinated than dogs ever were and she's looking for a way to minimize.
 

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That seems weird to me. I mean, the idea makes some sense. But I had to have my Rabies vaccine, and when I got my titer checked about 6 years later it was still very high, about 10x the required protective level. And I'm 99.9% sure that I was never exposed to rabies lol.
 
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