Titer vs. vaccinations?

“vaccination” is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate an immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate morbidity from infection.

According to the veterinary medical experts contributing to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) distemper, parvo, hepatitis, and rabies are infectious diseases that pets should be vaccinated for. The rabies vaccine is required to be administered by law due to the significant risk to humans.


Before administering any vaccinations Dr. Neumeister will do a wellness exam on your pet because vaccinations should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Each animal’s risk factors are unique, based on his age, genetic inheritance, current health, geographic location, and lifestyle.

If a client prefers to vaccinate their pet as minimally as necessary to protect them from the disease a yearly titer test can be done. A “titer” or “titering,” is the act of submitting a blood sample to determine if an animal has enough antibodies to overcome an attack of a particular virus if exposed to it. Theoretically, with the help of yearly titers, a pet would not need to be vaccinated as long as the antibody levels are demonstrably high, year after year. If your reason for considering titers is only based on saving money, you should be aware that running the titer is two to three times more expensive than vaccinations.

Titers can not entirely replace vaccines. They also do NOT denote protection against a given disease, because it measures antibodies, not cell-mediated immunity, which is the real-world measure of protection. It’s still every individual pet owner’s decision to make, but owners should not get a false sense of security based on lab results reporting that antibody levels suggest protection is “likely” It all comes down to this: the core vaccines are an important and life-saving component of responsible dog care when administered properly – neither too frequently nor inadequately.