Vaccinations and your pet’s immunity

Here at Redruth Veterinary Surgery, we believe that prevention is always better

than cure, and we want to help you protect your pet as much as possible. 

Part of this protection is vaccination.  Without doubt, vaccinations have saved

the lives of tens of thousands of dogs worldwide over the last few decades. 

And we think that’s pretty awesome.

However, you may sometimes wonder, how much vaccination is too much vaccination?

Is there such a thing as over vaccinating your dog?  Or, have you just got a rescue dog

and you don’t know if he’s been vaccinated?

It is firstly necessary to understand the definitions of ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ vaccines.  CORE vaccines are those that all animals should receive to protect them against diseases.  The use of NON-CORE vaccines is dictated by our geographical location, lifestyle and exposure risk.


Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV), Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH)



Canine parainfluenza virus (CPi), Bordetells bronchiseptica and Borrelia, Canine coronavirus (CCV)

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommends that puppies between 8-10 weeks start their vaccinations against these core diseases, with a second vaccination 3 – 4 weeks later.  On some occasions high risk puppies could be given a third vaccine at 16weeks to ensure the puppy has received one dose without the maternally-derived antibody’s (MDA) interfering.

A full booster is then given at 12 months to ensure full immunity develops.

From this point onwards, we rotate our vaccines so that your dog only receives ‘CORE’ Vaccinations every 3 years; we automatically do this behind the scenes for you, and we are pretty proud of it too. 

1st Vaccination (8-10 weeks old)
Full Vaccination – Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV), Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH), Leptospira
2nd Vaccination (3-4 weeks after the 1st vaccination)
Full Vaccination – Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV), Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH), Leptospira
Booster YEAR 1
Full Vaccination – Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV), Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH), Leptospira
Booster YEAR 2
Booster YEAR 3
Then back to year one.

However, we recognise that from time to time, you may like to know exactly what your dog’s immune status is.  We can now process a laboratory test called a titre test.  This test will check your dog’s immunity to core vaccinations (*Leptospira cannot currently be tested for) giving us a clear idea about your dog’s immune status.

With these results, your vet can help you decide which vaccine your dog will need to ensure adequate cover and avoid over vaccination.

When does my dog require a titre test?

Puppies or newly vaccinated dogs which have received a primary vaccination course and a full booster at year 1 should be covered for the core vaccines for three years; we recommend a full health check and Leptospira vaccination every 12months.

From this point at your pet’s annual health check we can vaccinate against Leptospira and take some blood for the titre test to check your dog’s immunity for the core vaccinations.

If your pet has a pet passport, visits a boarding kennels or has a dog walker it is important to discuss titre testing with them before assuming this type of testing will be accepted.

I would like my dog to have a titre test ?

Before booking a consultation for your dog’s annual health check, please call the surgery and book an appointment for a vet nurse to take a blood sample, and we can process the titre test in the surgery laboratory.  The veterinary surgeon can discuss the blood results at your dog’s annual health check.

I don’t want my dog to have a titre test ?

This is ok too.  Your dog will be vaccinated following the protocol on the front page.  The core vaccines are only given every three years, we follow the vaccination guidelines from the drug company.

If you have any further questions, please give the surgery a ring and one of our veterinary nurses will be happy to answer any questions or book your dog an appointment to see Anouska Simpson MRCVS

Yours sincerely

The team at Redruth Veterinary Surgery ?

Annual Health check, titre test and required vaccination £60

  • Blood test appointment with a veterinary nurse.
  • A 15min appointment with Anouska; your dog will receive a full health check, discuss the titre results and vaccinate your dog with the required vaccination.