“Ginger’s” Story – and The Questionable Need for Annual Core Vaccinations by Dr. Revital Netta 799 At the start of my work as a vet, the owner of an elderly female dog, Ginger, with a chronic renal disease, brought her in to receive the annual vaccination [core diseases vaccines, Canine Parvo virus (CPV), Canine distemper virus (CDV) and Canine adeno virus (CAV)]. The first question was “is it really necessary to automatically revaccinate every year for core vaccines, especially in an elderly dog with chronic health problems?”. Intrigued by the question, I looked for answers. I have come across a number of studies showing proof that core diseases vaccines may last for several years. The high prevalence of adequate antibody levels in a large population implies that annual revaccinations against CPV, CDV and CAV aren’t necessarily needed. The scientific arguments in favour of less frequent revaccinations are traditionally based on antibody titers. Protection against most viral diseases is indeed antibody-mediated, and antibodies are easily measured. Due to these findings the WSAVA (World Small Animal Vaccination Association) Vaccination Guidelines states “The presence of antibody (no matter what the titre) indicates protective immunity and immunological memory is present in that animal. Giving more frequent vaccines to animals in an attempt to increase antibody titre is a pointless exercise. It is impossible to create ‘greater immunity’ by attempting to increase an antibody titre.” Ensuring Ginger was immunized, I took a blood sample and ran the VacciCheck antibody test for the presence of antibodies against core disease. Results were conclusive – Ginger was immunized with regard to all the three core diseases, and so no need for further vaccination. *Ginger’s titer test results by VacciCheck Needless to say, Ginger’s owner was delighted. I imagine that Ginger was delighted as well… Tags: Annual vaccination core vaccines dogs titer testing vaccicheck biogal About Dr. Revital Netta Dr. Revital Netta holds a Bachelor of Life Sciences from Ben Gurion University of the Negev and is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) having studied at the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a practicing companion-animal veterinarian. In addition to her veterinary practice, Dr. Netta supervises Biogal’s regulatory affairs and product management. She serves as Biogal’s Medical Advisor and provides clinical support and training to Biogal's customers.