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Testing for Rabies Antibody Titer and Rabies Blood Test


An antibody titer test is one of the methods by which the level of immune system proteins, known as antibodies, can be measured in the blood. Your pet’s immune system reacts to vaccinations by creating antibodies that the body can utilize to stave off subsequent diseases. This test will determine how much antibody remains in your pet’s blood after immunization in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccination. Vaccines are vital because they inject a replicated portion of a dead or compromised virus or bacteria, allowing your dog to develop immunity without becoming ill.

What is the procedure for rabies titer testing?

The rabies titer test is usually carried out 30 days after the rabies vaccine has been given. Even though the test may occasionally be performed early, waiting 30 days for the antibodies to develop is advised. Before vaccinating your pet against rabies and giving the titer test, ensure that he or she is microchipped.


The period of fasting for your pet before the blood draw should be between 8 and 12 hours. Your veterinarian will take blood from your pet and send it to a certified laboratory to be tested for the presence of antibodies. There are around 40 laboratories worldwide with the necessary authorizations to provide this test for foreign travel. You can get assistance from your pet travel partner with sample collection and delivery. To assess the blood sample’s rabies-neutralizing titre value, the laboratory will compare it to infected cells.


To demonstrate that your pet is sufficiently immunized against rabies, most nations demand a level of 0.5 IU/ml or above. A small proportion of pets occasionally fail the blood test. In such circumstances, you can administer a booster immunization to your pet and then gather a sample for the follow-up test 14–28 days after the blood sample is collected.

Does IVH conduct this test?

A registered veterinarian conducts the test, and it must then be transmitted to an authorized laboratory for analysis.


It is essential that the proper laboratory receive the sample from your pet; thus, we recommend double-checking the import regulations for your final destination, as some have a predefined list of authorized labs. If you have any questions about this, please contact our pet relocation department, because they can also assist.


What are the limits of pet titer testing?

Titre testing is an appropriate technique for evaluating immunity to parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus, according to AAHA vaccine recommendations. Due to the fact that these vaccines only offer transitory protection, they are not advised for canine leptospirosis, bordetella, or Lyme disease.


The titer tests for rabies are likewise thought to be a fairly accurate way to gauge immunity, and rabies vaccines offer long-term protection. However, vaccination against rabies is required by law, and regrettably, no U.S. state accepts the results of titer tests in place of vaccination records. Therefore, even if a titer test reveals that the victim has immunity, they still need to be quarantined if your dog bites them. However, specific rabies titer tests are used when relocating to rabies-free areas or nations (such as Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, and Great Britain). In this situation, a dog will be eligible for a shorter quarantine thanks to the rabies titer test.

Are titer tests necessary for my pet?

Your pet requires antibodies against specific diseases so that its body can fight the pathogen and get rid of the disease. As a result, the development of antibodies to a specific disease may indicate that your pet is resistant to that disease.


In our patients, antibody immunity, which is assessed through titer testing, and cell immunity, which is not assessed through titer testing, are two distinct types of immunity. Although it is unclear by how much, the two forms of immunity are thought to typically correspond.


It all depends on where you are right now and where you’re going. It is crucial that you learn the laws and import restrictions of the country you are traveling to. You can also get help from the IVH Pet Relocation department with your questions. 


Visit this link to get a list of nations that are rabies-free: http://www.pettravel.com/passports_rabies_free_countries.cfm

Rabies Titer Test: Why Do You Need It?

It is important to note that rabies is a core vaccine, so titers can be determined, but there is some complexity in using titers as a substitute for rabies vaccination. As part of rabies control and preventive strategies, the majority of states and/or municipalities require dogs (and frequently cats as well) to receive rabies vaccinations. The most effective way to prevent human rabies deaths is to limit rabies vectors, which are animals that can carry the rabies virus and infect others. Rabies is a zoonotic disease that can be transferred to humans. The use of titers instead of vaccination is not currently permitted under these laws. The absence of an agreement on a standard titer number that is regarded as protective further complicates matters.

Why do rabies titer tests exist?

Many rabies-free nations and certain nations with rabies-controlled (third) nations require a blood titer test for pet dogs and cats in order for them to be eligible for a brief quarantine or none at all while they are traveling from qualified nations. RNAT and FAVN testing proves that your pet has strong enough rabies immunity if you are taking it on a trip from a country where rabies is common to one where it is not. However, Hawaii (US), Guam, Japan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, the Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, the EU, and other nations are among those that demand the test.


To prevent rabies in local animals, this test is required for cross-border pet travel and shows that your pet has a strong enough immunity to rabies.


It is crucial that you research the import regulations in the nation where you intend to travel. You can also get help from the IVH Pet Relocation department with your questions. 


In those countries that demand it, the blood titer test must be completed between 30 and 180 days before entering the nation. It is essential that you do your study in accordance with the timing requirements of the country to which you are traveling. The waiting time often starts on the day the veterinarian takes the blood sample. (In the case of Australia, the waiting time begins when the blood sample arrives at the laboratory.)

Summary: final note

Please be aware that the information above is only intended to serve as a reference manual for comprehending rabies titer tests. If you have any questions, it’s crucial to see your veterinarian. If you intend to take your dogs on a trip, you should also thoroughly investigate the country where you’ll be going. 


To prevent any potential delays or waiting periods, we advise that you always keep your pets up to date with all of their immunizations, most importantly their rabies vaccinations. 

We advise starting the rabies titer test as soon as you can if you have any plans to take your pets on an international trip.


It’s important to keep in mind that some businesses (such as boarding kennels, catteries, or dog daycare facilities) won’t take your pet unless they have a complete vaccination record that complies with manufacturer recommendations. Insurance providers for pets may decline coverage or deny a claim for an illness that may have been avoided with immunization.

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