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Many times guardians have questions about what vaccines their animal friends need, and how frequently they may need them. Rather than have a one protocol for all dogs and all cats, our staff will ask questions about your pet’s lifestyle, travel and activity to pinpoint what vaccines are needed and what ones are not.  Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, some vaccines that traditionally have been given every year to every dog or every cat may be able to become every third year vaccines. This goes on the theory of exposure; similarly, most of us as adults in this country are not vaccinated for rabies, but veterinarians generally are vaccinated against it because we have a higher chance of exposure. At Left Hand Animal Hospital, we are always willing to discuss your pet’s individual vaccination and preventative health needs and tailor a plan just for your pet!

At Left Hand Animal Hospital, we will use the safest and most advanced vaccines on the marketplace.  Our dog vaccines are progressive with just the material we need to vaccinate, and nothing more. Our rabies vaccine is thimerosol-free for your pet’s safety, and lasts three years after initial vaccination. Our kennel cough vaccine is given by mouth, rather than by nose or by injection, making the vaccination easier for your dog to take. Our cat vaccines are adjuvant free, which minimizes the risk of vaccine related problems.

Many people also have questions about re-vaccination versus titer testing. Generally vaccines do not know exactly when to “wear out”…they are thought to slowly subside over time. So, waiting a few weeks is okay, but waiting months may not be.

Some vaccines, like rabies vaccine, have a more established titer system, while other vaccines, like distemper, have more variability between labs & what titer values are considered protective.

The difficulty is that the immune system has several components – antibodies (which titers measure), cell mediated immunity (which cannot be measured) and memory cells (that regenerate within hours of exposure). As with many things, there are differences of opinion among experts. Titers, however, may have value in selected situations & we are happy to discuss these with you as well as your pet’s specific risk factors.