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Discussion Starter #1
Maizie has her rabies shot appointment coming up and I'm wondering if I should titer her again for parvo/distemper. She received a "VGL" (very good level) 2 years ago when I was required to do it to board her. I think that means she's pretty much set for life, but would you titer her again? The cost would be at least $120 with the blood draw and shipping and all, and with all of Zooey's vet bills ($$$$$$), I'm hesitant to spend any unnecessary money.
 

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I wouldn't either. Most of these things create anti-bodies and they're all set for a very long time, if not for their lifetime. According to my vet that I told I didn't want them to have anymore of most of the vaccines, he thought they likely acquire a natural immunity by the time they're this mature anyhow...probably came across a little of this and a little of that...and we don't even know it. And titering is good once in a while, but like you say...you just did it a short while ago. I don't take my dogs to too many places where there are a ton of dogs so maybe it's more of a concern for you. Or like if you have to board or take to a grooming place. I don't do either.
 
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Jean Dodds recommends every three years for titers. This link explains. We have followed that schedule and so far, no one has needed a booster. The oldest dog here is ten and has not had a parvo/ distemper since age two.

Her research is pretty solid, although not complete yet. I saw her speak several months ago, everything she recommends is based on solid evidence, and she is quick to point out the limitations of what she has found. I imagine in years to come, she and Schultz will be credited with forging a new evidence based approach in veterinary practice for vaccines.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, Pb--I do take my dogs to many public places with other dogs, so I guess I'm more concerned about them, than say, Zooey, who stays home mostly.

And thank you for that link, Caroline. I learned a few new things, even though I've read Dr. Dodds' articles for years.
 

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Totally understood Maize Frosty, every time I read her stuff, I walk away with new realizations. Some of it is pretty in depth but I do appreciate her scientific approach and focus on evidence based changes. Lily almost died from a vaccine reaction, so I made a point to understand dog vaccines, and have enough information to question if something is not right.
 
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Every time I got my little boy chi a rabies vaccine, it would create a cyst and become infected at the site of the injection. My vet, who treated him the first year, refused to believe it would happen again and gave it to him again the following year. Once again, the reaction happened, and another 4 months to clear it up. Then my vet sent a letter to the county animal control saying he could no longer be vaccinated against rabies, and he was given a lifetime license.

I wouldn’t tiger again if it’s only been 2 years. I believe most vaccines last a dog their lifetime. If it weren’t for going to the groomer, I wouldn’t have the rabies done every three years.


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Discussion Starter #10
Every time I got my little boy chi a rabies vaccine, it would create a cyst and become infected at the site of the injection. My vet, who treated him the first year, refused to believe it would happen again and gave it to him again the following year.
Oh my gosh, your poor little Chi! Why are vets in denial about vaccine reactions??
 

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Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry that happened. Could you please share which vaccine it was?
It was rabies. She was two years old and had immediate gastric distress that progressively worsened to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. By the time we got her to an emergency vet she was already in shock from the bleeding. She was pooping frank blood. It was horrible but thankfully she was OK after treatment. It could have been complete coincidence that this happened right after the vaccine, but she was otherwise healthy and it’s highly likely it was correlated.

I took her to a holistic vet afterward and she agreed it was probably the vaccine. She recommended no more rabies and offered to write a letter for the state saying another rabies was not advisable. However, that would have limited where we could go with her, what she could do, etc.

Three years later, when it was time to booster, after consultation with my traditional vet, and weighing everything, I decided to give it and monitor her closely. I took the day off, had an early morning appointment and held my breath. She did fine and has had boosters every three years since then, per NYS law.

If I hadn’t taken the risk, she wouldn’t have been able to go to training, compete in agility, or even go to boarding. It was a risk, and thankfully turned out OK.

But that experience drove me to learn about vaccines. I used to just have the vet give all vaccines, core and non- core...thinking I was doing the right thing. Now, it’s a much more deliberative process.

Anyways, long saga here, lol! Hope I answered your question.
 

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I know a number of vets personally and based on conversations about such issues I don't think they are trying to be ignorant or in denial. Their positions mostly seem to be based on an abundance of caution POV. If they don't recommend a parvo or lepto booster in areas where they know the diseases are common and then your dog dies of parvo "you" will accuse them of malpractice. That outcome is more likely than a vaccine reaction and so they will recommend the vaccine. One friend in a discussion of puppy socialization vs. the recommendation to not let puppies take a stroll in the neighborhood said she worries if she says it is okay to take the puppy out will end up with the client inferring that that means they should take the puppy to a dog park, which lets face it offers myriad dangers to a pup above and beyond the immunity issues.


The analogy in human medical care is the extraordinary overwriting of RX for mild otitis media cases most of which are viral and for which the RX have no value. Drs. write those scripts because they don't want malpractice cases related to any hearing issues later in the chid's life. A study done that I read many years ago (so I can't provide the reference) showed that when the pediatrician told parents that they would order the RX, but that they should wait to fill them for at least 24 hours resulted in about (I think) nearly 75 percent of the RX remaining unfilled. These were parents who were concerned and motivated enough to go in to get the child checked. If the doctor explained that the issue was probably viral and that antibiotics weren't necessary people understood and did the right thing.


I guess vets are less likely to have an easy explanation such as that of the pediatricians in the study who had brochures that were also given to the parents.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Just wanted to follow up with my vet's advice at our appointment yesterday.
She said she would do titers every 3 years to be on the safe side. So, that's the plan :) She also told me many more clients are asking for titers nowadays --yay--and that she has zero problem with people asking for vax to be spaced out, t-free vax requests (I special ordered the t-free rabies for Maiz), etc. Very encouraging!
 

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I wish our state (NY) allowed titer testing for rabies. By law, all dogs have to have a shot every 3 years unless vet approved otherwise. I cringe and worry for weeks when mine are due for theirs. I have them titered for parvo/distember annually. Maybe I don't need to do it that offen.
 

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I've seen a dog with rabies when I was a child...it is the one vaccinations I will not ever let my dog not have. My parents friends child was bitten by the rabid dog...I will always remember the agony they went thru. I can understand the over vaccination, my 17 year old chihuahua only gets his rabies shot now, it is given every 3 years. We have all sorts of wildlife come thru and I won't take that chance .
 

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My mom's childhood dog caught rabies while she was in university. in all, 17 people ended up having to have 3 painful rabies shots in the stomach. I would not be welcome to family events if I did not regularly vaccinate my dog! And rabies is active in local wildlife populations, and I have actually seen a rabid fox. That being said, my current vet wants me to give the 3 year vaccine every 2 years to be safe. Ummm.... No.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't think any of us are crazy enough to take our chances on rabies...but Dr. Dodds's research is showing that they have a good 7 years of protection. I'm just glad in my state the legal requirement is every 3 years and not every year like it was when we first had dogs. :afraid:
 
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