Does anyone get rabies titer tests?

kittensApril 2, 2012

What's the real deal with the rabies vaccination? My cat is due and I just did a brief search on the internet about a titer test vs. a shot. I'm reading that they've done studies showing the vaccination can last upwards to 10 years. Is there any truth to that? Has anyone opted for testing instead of re-vaccinating their pet? Is that something that would have to be done annually?

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I've been following that research for many years now. I've included a link below that gives you more information about the ongoing studies. One of my dogs cannot be vaccinated for anything due to an autoimmune disease so I have looked into titering, but have not done it. We do have to be very careful with her environments though. I am not sure how often it should be done, but I think they base it on what your state requires for the vaccine ( annual or 3 year).

Here is a link that might be useful: Rabies studies

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:28PM
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One thing you want to be careful of is that if your cat were to bite you and you had to seek treatment many places would make you quarantine your cat, I heard one story from a lady that had to quarantine 2 cats for 6 months. Shortly after hearing that story we go a bat in the house. One of my cats freaked and when I went to pick him up he bit me. Nextday I was in ER getting IV antibiotics , tetanus shot and rabies shots. Thank God I knew to tell them it was a stray that wandered though my yard.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 1:14PM
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It depends on what your state will accept. My state doesn't require cats be vaccinated for Rabies but I had the vet give her a Rabies shot because she has access to an outdoor kennel. I know we have bats in the area and she often goes out to her kennel during the night.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:41PM
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I'm in NY so my cats needed an initial shot and then they get a 3 year booster. Mine go outside too so I wouldn't want to chance it. Two are in a kennel, but my other one hunts. I was just wondering if everyone was following the protocol. It does look the frequency is debatable. Thanks for that link, Ladybug. I've read a couple of stories similar to your experience, Lisa. Not only biting but you have to worry about them slobbering on you too! My kitten-mill kitty, when she was finally healthy enough to vaccinate, developed a bump at the site. I was freaking out that I was going to have yet another medical emergency but it was just normal swelling and she was fine. My other kitty puked when I brought her home after her first shot. I think it was totally related because she'd never been sick before. I was hesitant to get the booster but she didn't have a reaction to it. I read on a site it's best to rabies vaccinate alone and get the other shots on a different day. That sounded like rational advise but 2 trips in :) What do you do about pets that can't be vaccinated, Ladybug? Do you just keep a note on hand from the doctor?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Yes kittens. I do have a letter from my vet on hand. We also take precautions where we can. While we do take walks, we don't go to dog parks and such. When she's in the backyard, we're in the backyard. She's otherwise totally healthy and happy.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:41AM
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In msny states getting a rabies titer on your pet will not mean anything from a legal standpoint and the state will still require that you vaccinate your pet anyway (eg. Calfornia). The thinking perhaps is that a high titer to rabies is not guarantee of 100% immunity against a bite from a rabid animal (though it is pretty darn likely that it is). Unlike doing titers for Distemper or Parvo, which are not legally required vaccines (since we humans can't get these diseases), Rabies is still a legal requirement in many states since it is a deadly zoonotic (people can get it from animals) infection. Most titers for rabies are limited to paperwork for traveling to countries that have no rabies, so that those countries can at least feel reassured that the arriving pet is adequately vaccinated.

Does your state offer doing a titer as an alternative to vaccination?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I don't believe it's acceptable here to not get the shot, I never looked into it. I think that if I had indoor only kitties and the titer was high, I'd postpone the shots at the very least. Two of mine just went in and had their shots. The other vaccinations are on a different schedule so at least they aren't all in the same visit. I'm just going to have to stagger the weeks now because it was too much with them both in the office at the same time - what a fiasco!!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 9:03PM
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