Titre Testing- An Alternative to Annual Vaccinations in Dogs

Vaccination plays an important role in reducing the risk of infection from common diseases in your dog. Here at Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic, we offer annual Kennel Cough, Leptospirosis and Heartworm vaccination as well as triannual C3 vaccination.

The C3 vaccination protects your dog against:

  • Canine Distemper Virus: A severe and contagious disease, causing conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, seizures and spinal cord damage.
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis: A highly contagious viral infection causing sudden death in puppies and weakness, fever, diarrhoea and bleeding in adult dogs.
  • Canine Parvovirus: A severe and highly contagious viral infection causing severe bloody diarrhoea and severe vomiting as well as loss of appetite. This virus is often fatal in young puppies.

Following initial puppy vaccinations, we also offer an alternative to our C3 vaccination. This alternative is a blood test known as a ‘titre test’.

What is the titre test?

The titre test is a blood test that tells us if your dog has enough antibodies from a previous C3 vaccination circulating in the blood to provide protection against these viral diseases.

 How does the titre test work?

Titre tests measure the levels of antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are produced when a foreign substance like a virus or bacteria provoke an immune response due to natural exposure or vaccination.

By measuring the level of Canine Distemper Virus and Canine Parvovirus antibodies in the blood it can be determined if your dog has enough of these antibodies to protect them against these two highly contagious diseases.

If your dog does have enough antibodies, we will not recommend administration of a C3 vaccination but instead will suggest retesting or vaccination in one to three years time.

If your dog does not have enough antibodies we will administer a C3 vaccination for FREE!

How long does the titre test take?

Collection of a blood sample for a titre test can be performed during your dogs annual health check appointment where your dog can also be vaccinated for Kennel Cough as well as Leptospirosis and Heartworm if required.

This blood sample is then sent off to an external laboratory for processing and results are returned to us within 10 days. Once your veterinarian has received the results, they will call you to advise if your dog requires revaccination.

How much does the titre test cost?

$100 (a C3 vaccination costs $115)

 How often do I have to get the titre test?

Depending on the antibody levels in your dog’s blood your veterinarian will recommend retesting in one to three years time.