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May 12, 2011

Profile on Dr. Jean Dodds – changing animal vaccine protocol

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Dr. Jean Dodds is founder of HEMOPET, the non-profit animal blood bank, and a friend to animal lovers the world over.  HEMOPET is where we can have blood tests to check for vaccine antibodies instead of unnecessarily re-vaccinating our companion animals.

Dr. Dodds has written several excellent articles that everyone, especially our veterinarians, should read.  Her article on Changing Vaccine Protocol is especially interesting to those of us questioning the necessity of vaccinating our pets yearly even into adulthood and it  provides valuable information regarding making informed decisions about vaccination.

Below is a short excerpt from the article and to read the article in its entirety, please visit Dr. Dodds’ website.

…Veterinary vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These include:

1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at one year of age;

2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine every three years or as split components alternating every other year;

3) When the pet reaches geriatric age, a booster vaccination is likely to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or immunologic disorders.

In the intervening years between booster vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, immunity can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers…If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need revaccination until some future date.

Rechecking antibody titers can be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable.

When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives by administering booster vaccines.  By titering annually, one can assess whether a given animal’s humoral immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered…

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