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A Look at Titer Testing

Read all of the articles in our Vaccines & Titers intro series here:

You can also visit our Vaccines & Titers topic page for a look at all of the articles in this category.

What is a Titer Test?

“A titer test is a simple blood test that measures a dog or cat’s antibodies to vaccine viruses (or other infectious agents). For instance, your dog may be more resistant to a virus whereas your neighbor’s dog may be more prone to it. Titers accurately assess protection to the so-called “core” diseases (distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats), enabling veterinarians to judge whether a booster vaccination is necessary. All animals can have serum antibody titers measured instead of receiving vaccine boosters. The only exception is rabies re-vaccination. There is currently no state that routinely accepts a titer in lieu of the rabies vaccine, which is required by law.” ~ Dr. Jean Dodds (source)

How to Order a Titer Test for Your Dog

Option 1 – Find a vet who will run a titer test

Some veterinary offices perform titer tests on a regular basis, either in-house or sending blood to an outside lab. If your primary veterinarian doesn’t offer this, you can use a holistic vet just for this purpose, and have the results shared with your primary vet.

Here is a list of vets who follow the Protect the Pets process. There are many other vets who can provide titer testing as well.

Option 2 – Protect the Pets

Dr. John Robb at Kansas State University offers titer testing by mail. (Here is the process.)

  1. Kansas State requests 2cc’s of serum for testing. Have your vet draw 4 cc’s of whole blood and spin it for 5-10 minutes in a serum separator tube.

  2. Leave the blood in the serum separator tube.

  3. Once you have the blood sample home, complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.

  4. Once payment has been made, Dr. Robb will be notified and submit your information.

  5. You will receive two emails: a pre-paid UPS label, and a submission form.

  6. Place the submission form and the sample in a bubble wrap envelope or box, apply the label to the package, and ship directly to the lab.

  7. No refrigeration is required.

  8. Drop your sample off in a UPS pick-up box or take it to the nearest UPS store for shipping.

  9. It will take approximately two weeks after shipping to get the results.

  10. The results will be forwarded to your email address.

  11. If there are any problems call or text Dr. Robb (203-731- 4251). Please, do not call the Lab directly.

Option 3 – Hemopet

She offers titer testing and several other blood tests for pets. The process is similar to Dr. Robb’s Protect the Pets above. Your veterinarian may be required to submit your form to Hemopet.

“Hemopet’s Hemolife Diagnostics is world renowned for its titer testing. What differentiates Hemopet is that the results of each sample are reviewed and reported by the Hemolife staff on our unique Cloud-Based computer technology Laboratory Information System (LIS). They are then personally reviewed and interpreted by Dr. Jean Dodds and two trained veterinary colleagues, Drs. Andrew Zuckerman and Gary Richter. Based on pet’s species, age and species, Hemopet will will provide you with suggestions if the pet should receive a booster shot.”

More Info…

“Some veterinarians have challenged the validity of using vaccine titer testing to assess the immunologic status of animals against the common, clinically important infectious diseases. With all due respect, this represents a misunderstanding of what has been called the “fallacy of titer testing”, because research has shown that once an animal’s titer stabilizes it is likely to remain constant for many years…” – Dr. Dodds

Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines with Titer Tests What is a titer? Are there any downsides to titer testing? (This is part 3 of a 4-part series on over-vaccination.)

“Homeopathic nosodes are often touted as alternatives to conventional vaccines. In fact, I often suggest the homeopathic nosode remedies, Lyssin, along with Thuja, to help blunt the effects of potential and actual adverse vaccine reactions. However, I do not recommend nosodes to prevent or treat infectious diseases. They do not generate measurable humoral immunity…” – Dr. Dodds


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