Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. The first yearly booster should always be given as long term protection can not be relied upon from puppy vaccinations. Titers are marketed for dogs but the unanswered issue is at what level is a dog unprotected and at risk and the rate at which antibody levels drop from being above this level to being dangerously low. Should the dog be retested monthly in order to assess when to vaccinate and if you miss this do you put the dog at unacceptable risk? Vaccination schedules in dogs over 2years of age can be modified depending on lifestyle and not all are required to be given every 12months, some are indeed licensed for 3 year cover and your local clinics can advise on which diseases are most prevalent in your area and the most appropriate schedule for your individual pet

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Is Titer Testing Right for Your Dog? Along with using titer tests to check for immunity to parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus in a previously vaccinated adult dog, titers are also a good option for a newly adopted dog whose vaccination or health history you may not know.
When your pet is given a vaccination, their immune system responds by producing antibodies which are used to fight off future infections. A titer test is a simple blood test that measures the level of immune system antibodies in your pet`s bloodstream for one or more years after vaccination.
A titer test for dogs involves measuring the level of antibodies against a particular disease in a sample of blood. Antibodies are produced in response to an antigen, or stimulus. Your dog`s body can produce antigens after vaccination or after being infected with bacteria or viruses.
This is because different vaccines last for different amounts of time – your vet will be able to tell you about the schedule for your dog. Your dog will need at least one vaccine every year, however, and your dog should have a thorough health check at least once a year as part of their general healthcare.
The rabies titer test, also known as the Rabies Antibody Titre Test (RNATT), is a blood test that measures the effectiveness of a rabies vaccine. It`s required for pets entering rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries such as Australia, Singapore, Japan, and New Zealand.
At what age do you stop vaccinating your dog? Senior dogs do not generally stop requiring vaccinations, but it will depend on your dog`s lifestyle and overall health. Once a dog reaches seven years of age, its senior status requires some special considerations to keep them healthy and happy.
Titre: Variant spelling of “titer” — the degree of dilution of a substance such as an antibody, reflecting the strength of the solution. Americans spell it “titer” while the English spell it “titre,” French for “title,” derived from the Latin “titulus,” an inscription or label.
I had my titers done a long time ago. Is there an expiration date on the titers? No. Positive titers are acceptable from any time in the past.
Over-vaccination in pets is when a pet is inoculated with the same vaccines multiple times. When this happens, it can result in adverse effects on your pet`s health. This can be dangerous to some animals because they are vaccinated too frequently for their bodies to handle.
How often should titers be checked? A three-year interval is appropriate for the majority of adult dogs and cats when quantitative tests are used. The manufacturers of in-clinic (“yes/no”) screening tests recommend they be used annually.
If you don`t protect your pets with vaccines, you will be putting them at risk of contracting diseases. Since they don`t have activated antibodies to fight off infections, they would only be left to deteriorate. Fatal results usually follow.
Revaccination (booster) with core vaccines, including rabies, is recommended for all dogs and cats 1 year following completion of initial (juvenile) series. Revaccination is generally recommended at 3-year intervals thereafter.
Countries generally recognised as rabies-free countries are: American Samoa, Antigua, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, England, Fiji, French Polynesia (Tahiti), Guam, Hawaii, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, St.
A diagnosis of rabies can be made after detection of rabies virus from any part of the affected brain, but in order to rule out rabies, the test must include tissue from at least two locations in the brain, preferably the brain stem and cerebellum. The test requires that the animal be euthanized.
Antibody titer testing is typically done in specific circumstances when pathogen exposure, vaccination status, or immune system function needs to be checked. As a result, the test is normally prescribed by a doctor who indicates the specific types of antibodies that should be measured.
there is no risk to an older pet. vaccine and whether he develops an adverse reaction to it. system`s effectiveness diminishes with age.
At TCAP, the Rabies, DHPP, and Bordetella vaccines are considered your adult dog`s core yearly vaccines. In this blog, we will explore the reason for each vaccine and why they are important. Definition: Rabies is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals.
The antibody level (titer) in the blood tells your health care provider whether or not you have been exposed to an antigen , or something that the body thinks is foreign. The body uses antibodies to attack and remove foreign substances.
A titer is a measure of how much a sample can be diluted before antibodies can no longer be detected. Titers are usually expressed as ratios, such as 1:256, meaning that one part serum to 256 parts saline solution (dilutant) results in no antibodies remaining detectable in the sample.
If your titers are positive, it may indicate you`ve already been exposed to a specific pathogen or may have received the vaccine for it. That means that you have adequate immunity to a particular infectious disease. If titer results are negative, this means there is no immunity to a specific disease.
The antibody titer is a test that detects the presence and measures the amount of antibodies within a person`s blood. The amount and diversity of antibodies correlates to the strength of the body`s immune response.
Titer tests are blood tests that measure the level of antibodies your animal has made. Your dog goes in, gets a needle poked into a vein, blood is pulled into a syringe and it gets tested, usually in a lab but now perhaps, in your vet`s clinic. You pay anywhere from $40 to $200 to get some numbers on a piece of paper.
Titers decline after proper treatment over a period of months to years. infection. Titers can fluctuate after treatment by increasing twofold (one dilution) while still decreasing overall. RPRs are typically 1-2 titer dilutions higher than a VDRL or USR (possibly 3 dilutions higher than USR) on the same sample.
Unvaccinated puppies can be safely socialized with fully-vaccinated adult dogs in safe environments like your home. Most puppy classes require proof of vaccination before you can enroll your puppy.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I’ve given my dog all their puppy shots but I don’t want to do yearly immunizations, any one here do a titer test instead?
ANSWER : A. The first yearly booster should always be given as long term protection can not be relied upon from puppy vaccinations. Titers are marketed for dogs but the unanswered issue is at what level is a dog unprotected and at risk and the rate at which antibody levels drop from being above this level to being dangerously low. Should the dog be retested monthly in order to assess when to vaccinate and if you miss this do you put the dog at unacceptable risk? Vaccination schedules in dogs over 2years of age can be modified depending on lifestyle and not all are required to be given every 12months, some are indeed licensed for 3 year cover and your local clinics can advise on which diseases are most prevalent in your area and the most appropriate schedule for your individual pet

Q. Vet is saying our dog has heartworm based on a sonogram. All tests are negative and he has no cough. I am very confused
ANSWER : A. Very rarely, a dog can have a heartworm infection and still test negative on an antigen test since the antigen tested for is produced only by the female worms. If the heartworms were not fully mature, or there were only male worms present, the antigen test result in infected animals would be falsely negative. This means the test result is negative when the animal is really infected.

An antibody test will be positive even if only one male worm is present. But this test has a downfall, too. Although it is very good at giving positive results when an infection is present, a positive antibody test just means the animal has been exposed to heartworms, but may or may not currently have heartworm disease. A negative antibody test means the animal has never been exposed to heartworms.

If they are actually seeing the heartworms via ultrasound, I would follow precautions by restricting exercise. This requirement might be difficult to adhere to, especially if your dog is accustomed to being active. But your dog’s normal physical activities must be restricted as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed, because physical exertion increases the rate at which the heartworms cause damage in the heart and lungs. The more severe the symptoms, the less activity your dog should have. And the diagnosis should be confirmed. Once a dog tests positive on an antigen test, the diagnosis should be confirmed with an additional—and different—test. Because the treatment regimen for heartworm is both expensive and complex, your veterinarian will want to be absolutely sure that treatment is necessary.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. How do I get my dog to stop chewing on things? I kennel her when I leave for a few hours, but I can’t go to the mailbox without her eating something.
ANSWER : A. If she’s young, then this is just normal puppy behavior. Don’t worry about it. The thing about puppies is, they explore using their mouths. If your puppy grabs a coat hanger, or a slipper, you should roll up a newspaper, and smack yourself on the head with it for leaving those things out.. your puppy is going to explore things, that’s normal! It is 100% up to YOU to keep those things away from your puppy when your puppy is unsupervised… even for just a moment.

Remember to never scold your puppy for grabbing these things. They are just curious little cuties, and they don’t chew things up to bother us.. Dogs do not have intentional thought, so they aren’t ever doing anything ON PURPOSE to us.. The most important thing you can do when your puppy is chewing something you don’t want her to be chewing is TRADE her the inappropriate item with a toy of hers, so she understands “no honey, that isn’t what puppies chew on… THIS is what puppies chew on!” and then begin playing with her using her toy to show her that TOYS ARE FUN.. Way more fun than a boring ol’ coat hanger.

Another helpful thing you can do is have two bags of toys. In each bag is many different kinds of toys. Lots of chew toys, lots of soft squeaky toys, lots of rope-type toys, a bunch of balls.. All kinds of things! For one week you have bag#1’s toys out for your puppy to play with.. At the end of the one week, you collect those toys, and you bring out bag#2! The toys will be more interesting/feel like new to your puppy, which will in-turn, make her chew less inappropriate things. Her toys are too fun to care about that dumb Wii-mote that you left laying around.

Hope this helps!

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat