What is antibody titre testing?
Antibody titre testing is the measurement of the level of antibodies to specific diseases in your dog’s blood. This is done by taking a blood sample from your dog, which is then sent to a laboratory for testing.
What does the result of the titre test mean?
If your dog has sufficient antibody levels in their blood, it indicates that they currently have protective immunity against the virus or bacteria that cause a particular disease.
If they do not have sufficient antibodies, your dog will need a booster vaccination to increase the antibody levels and give them protection against the disease.
Does a titre test reduce the need for vaccinations?
A titre test may reduce the frequency of some of the core vaccinations that your dog requires.
The only way to ensure protective immunity is the completion of a primary course of vaccinations (usually around 8 and 10 weeks of age). A booster 12 months after completion of the primary course is also strongly recommended.
Thereafter, antibody titre testing can be used to see whether your dog requires booster vaccinations against Parvovirus, Adenovirus (infectious hepatitis) and Distemper. These vaccines are combined, so if your dog has insufficient immunity to one or more, they will require a booster of all three.
Studies of large numbers of dogs have shown that over a third had insufficient antibody titres against Parvovirus, Adenovirus or Distemper after 4 years. Therefore, we routinely vaccinate against these diseases every 3 years to ensure adequate protection.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable test available for Leptospirosis or kennel cough immunity, so we advise having these booster vaccinations yearly.
The titre test will only show that your dog currently has immunity against a certain disease. Therefore, repeated testing is required to ensure your dog remains immune. We would recommend yearly testing to avoid your dog becoming vulnerable to one of these deadly diseases.
How much does a titre test cost?
The lab fee for antibody titre testing for Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus, inclusive of blood sampling, is currently £130.39 through Animal Trust.
A booster vaccination, inclusive of 12 months’ worming treatment is £47.50.
The Animal Trust Pet Healthcare Plan subscription service includes one vaccination per year.