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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had experience with a non-responder dog when it comes to vaccines?

I know that some dogs are genetically unable to create protective immunity. I read that the estimated frequency of non-responders for CPV is 1:1,000 and for CDV is 1:5,000. Has anyone had those odds against a dog they know?

Any suggestions on anything to try to build immunity before accepting that a dog can't be vaccinated? My pup is a year old. I suspected immune system issues for various reasons, such as he kept getting sick barely being around other dogs (i.e. kennel cough repeatedly) or we did blood work and his globulin levels were low (normal range now) or he's always slept when he was alone since he was a little puppy and not played with his toys or eaten treats we left next to him when he was alone (had great energy around people though). No one ever believed my dog had anything wrong with him because he was always so happy and uncontrollably EXCITED to see ANYONE. Finally my list of reasons to be concerned couldn't be denied and so my vet considered that his vaccination response might be an issue. So we finally did a titer a few months ago, which came back negative.

I saw a specialist vet who works with a lot of immune system issues. My boy was on Immustim Complex ( https://www.pureformulas.com/immustim-complex-180-capsules-by-professional-formulas.html ) and Transfer Factor K-9 Complete ( http://http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-8221-4life-transfer-factor-canine-complete-462-grams ) for a month. Then we revaccinated and three weeks later, did another titer... came back today: still negative. :(

I'm heartbroken at the idea of never going back to the dog beach or to parks with my pup, who if I'm not mistaken is at a greater risk of contracting viruses if exposed because he has the weakened immune system.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions, experiences, or anything at all to share on this topic? Thank you in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
SOOOO... three negative titer tests at IDEEX Lab (in So Cal), months of stress and sadness, four vets working on using all of their resources to see if anyone they know has anything constructive to contribute to this situation, lots of vet bills. Then we did a titer over at Spectrum Lab (in Phoenix)... and that blood was drawn the same day as the blood for the third IDEEX titer and the results were positive. So have I been giving my dog immune system boosters for nothing for months? Did I REVACCINATE my dog for nothing? Did I stress for nothing? Has my dog been quarantined to my house for the last few months for nothing?

I can't think about it. I just have to be grateful that Charlie is free and able to be back out in the world. And you better bet that next time I get surprising lab results, I'm going to double-check it with a DIFFERENT lab.

...and they all lived happily ever after. The end.
 

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I would be contacting that first lab and telling them to cover their repeat lab and incurred vet expenses. Especially since you had a lab draw done the same day with a different outcome!
 

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That's great news. I had the same problem with one of my pups years ago and that was when I found Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet. She's right there in your neck of the woods, Newport Beach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would be contacting that first lab and telling them to cover their repeat lab and incurred vet expenses. Especially since you had a lab draw done the same day with a different outcome!
Yea, good suggestion. Thank you. My main vet has actually been pretty incredible. He's already told me he is reimbursing me for the cost of the labs (before he even heard back from the lab agreeing to absorb the cost) and he hasn't charged me for the past few office visits (just the costs of the titers).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's great news. I had the same problem with one of my pups years ago and that was when I found Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet. She's right there in your neck of the woods, Newport Beach.
Thank you! Yea, I am familiar with Dr. Dodds. My vet is friendly with her and he's been checking in with her throughout the process. I'm very grateful to have a knowledgable vet, but also one who knows to reach out for help when it's outside of his area of expertise! :)
 

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LBDGolden, thank you for the update. I had nothing useful to contribute when you originally posted (still don't, for that matter) but the idea of a dog for whom vaccines don't "take" was new to me and fascinating. Your point about using different lab is a lesson to us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LBDGolden, thank you for the update. I had nothing useful to contribute when you originally posted (still don't, for that matter) but the idea of a dog for whom vaccines don't "take" was new to me and fascinating. Your point about using different lab is a lesson to us all.
Yes, it was a pretty crazy thought to wrap my head around. Hopefully this thread will pop up in the future if anyone else goes through this and they'll try a different lab right away. I'll be so grateful if my experience can save someone else some heartache and headache.

However, as rare as it was not to be able to be vaccinated against anything, as I thought was Charlie's case, the statistics are still true and pretty shocking for dogs unable to build immunity against one of the vaccines.

The estimation of non-responders is 1:1000 for Parvo and 1:5000 for Distemper. That seems higher than I'd expect! I had never heard of titer testing prior to this, which tests the blood for immunity. With statistics like this, I wonder why it isn't more of a common practice.
 

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It's a rather frightening thought that, out of all the dogs faithfully immunised against parvo, etc, there will be tens of thousands of dogs able to catch and spread the diseases wherever they go, and their owners will have done everything by the book.
 

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I was interested to read this. My Yorkie (now 8) was to travel in Europe and need proof that the rabies vaccination had "taken". This paper work comes from only 3 different labs in France. First lab said negative, revaccinated - blood drawn after the official wait time - sent to a different lab - still negative. We did it a third time again with revaccination and sent to the third lab. Still negative!!! She could not travel. Now the UK does not need the paper proof of the vaccin having "taken" just the vet stamp in the pet passport so she can now go to the UK but she is negative for rabies!! Makes no sense. Luckily we have had no rabies here in France for several years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's a rather frightening thought that, out of all the dogs faithfully immunised against parvo, etc, there will be tens of thousands of dogs able to catch and spread the diseases wherever they go, and their owners will have done everything by the book.

YUP! Terrifying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was interested to read this. My Yorkie (now 8) was to travel in Europe and need proof that the rabies vaccination had "taken". This paper work comes from only 3 different labs in France. First lab said negative, revaccinated - blood drawn after the official wait time - sent to a different lab - still negative. We did it a third time again with revaccination and sent to the third lab. Still negative!!! She could not travel. Now the UK does not need the paper proof of the vaccin having "taken" just the vet stamp in the pet passport so she can now go to the UK but she is negative for rabies!! Makes no sense. Luckily we have had no rabies here in France for several years.
Oh, boy. Thank goodness you don't have a rabies issue. Medicine is scary. So much can go wrong. :(
 

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I know. I have never tested her for the other vaccinations. I suppose I should but she stays at home and doesn't go out except round the garden. If she is out she is carried as only 4lbs and is scared on the leash in crowded places.
 
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