Titers, Vaccine Reactions, & Concurrent Treatments
At Lifetime Pet Wellness Center, we reserve the right to decline or defer a pet’s vaccination. All vaccines are labeled to be given to “healthy” individuals only. If a Lifetime doctor deems that our patient is not healthy enough to receive vaccines, then the decision will be made to defer vaccinations to a later date when better health has been attained. Additionally, some medications and procedures may adversely alter the vaccine response, and we may choose to decline or suspend treatment at the doctor’s discretion. The lifetime policy is to never administer more than three vaccines at once, and additional vaccines will be deferred to a future visit.
Likewise, we may defer vaccines, acupuncture, or chiropractics if initially planned for the same day. Acupuncture and chiropractics have effects on the neurologic-endocrine-immune-emotional balance. If a patient is not healthy enough or has a generally compromised immune state, it is advisable to forgo performing all treatments at once. Depending on your pet’s medical needs, a second visit may be necessary.
Vaccine reactions may be mild or rare, but monitoring your pet for adverse responses is crucial. Common symptoms may include mild fever, decreased appetite or activity, sneezing, discomfort, or mild swelling at the injection site. An allergic reaction may occur within minutes or hours of vaccination. Rare symptoms may include swelling to the face or legs, vomiting or diarrhea, itchiness, difficulty breathing, or collapse. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, contact us immediately. Dr. Schultz, an immunologist at the University of Wisconsin and recognized vaccine guru, recommends that patients who experience a vaccine reaction should not receive that vaccine again. Reactions can occur at any time in a pet’s life, whether or not they have received vaccines previously.
One option which significantly benefits patients, but may cost a little more, is to perform a vaccine titer instead of administering a vaccine. A titer is a blood test that measures the immune antibody level to specific disease-causing agents. If positive for the necessary antibodies, vaccination isn’t necessary. Titer testing is especially recommended for immune-compromised or geriatric patients or those with a history of adverse reactions to vaccination. In Ohio, titers are not legally accepted in place of a rabies vaccine, though rabies titers are available.
At LPWC, our goal is never to over-vaccinate your pet and to do no harm. Vaccines must be treated with respect and given to your pet with care. Vaccines are an essential part of pet care and prevention. Still, Lifetime strives to evaluate every pet individually and only recommends the necessary vaccines for your pet’s needs.