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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Senior Dog Vaccine Protocol

I would like to get the forum's general consensus on vaccinating senior dogs. At 9, Mario is still hearty, hardy, and healthy, but he is certainly slowing down a bit at this point, settling into his "retirement" years. We talk about vaccinating puppies and younger dogs, but do you folks scale back even more with older dogs? To what extent and at what age? I'm not a big fan of the idea of vaccinating older dogs to the extent that we do younger dogs, but I have no clue what he needs (if anything...I've seen people say they just stop vaccinating and carry on with wellness checks) and how frequently.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 02:21 PM
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it's always a personal choice. You can always titer to check your dogs status. Other than rabies Molly doesn't get anything and she's going on 12 . I stopped 6 years ago.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 02:42 PM
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I have had my 2 titered yearly since their puppy shots. They are 5 and have always tested as "still protected". They do get the rabies vaccine every 3 years. If it were me, I'd have Mario titered at his next checkup and take it from there.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarMar View Post
I would like to get the forum's general consensus on vaccinating senior dogs. At 9, Mario is still hearty, hardy, and healthy, but he is certainly slowing down a bit at this point, settling into his "retirement" years. We talk about vaccinating puppies and younger dogs, but do you folks scale back even more with older dogs? To what extent and at what age? I'm not a big fan of the idea of vaccinating older dogs to the extent that we do younger dogs, but I have no clue what he needs (if anything...I've seen people say they just stop vaccinating and carry on with wellness checks) and how frequently.
I don't do ANY vaccinations beyond the first two puppy shots for Distemper and Parvo and Rabies as required by law. Other than that, I titer for Parvo and Distemper. So my protocol won't change as my dogs age.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 04:06 PM
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It is important to understand that once a dog HAS a titer, even if it drops, it does not necessarily mean that they are no longer protected. It only means that they haven't been challenged by the disease for long enough that the blood no longer has enough antibodies to be measured. However, with a healthy immune system, the "memory" cells that are left behind (and can't be measured, unfortunately) will quickly mount the defense if the dog is challenged by the disease.

So, while many of us use titers as a way to prove to others that our dogs are protected, in all likelihood, they are protected for much, much longer than they have a titer. (possibly for life, though the studies haven't been done to prove it)

The problem being, we DO want to keep our animals safe, and so even vets who believe in minimal vaccination schedules, as mine does, tend to be on the cautious side and recommend revaccination if the titer falls below a certain level and the dog is otherwise healthy. That's not a "wrong" decision, I just want to make sure that people understand that no titer does not necessarily mean lack of immunity, AS LONG AS the animal has had a titer at some point.


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