While the Breeder's College is under construction, I am posting some materials that could be of interest to those interested in breeding Otterhounds. This first article is of interest because we have become more concerned about over exposure to vaccines during the life of the dog. A nomograph is a titer test available through the University of Wisconsin-Madison to measure the level of antibodies in the mother which will indicate when a vaccine will be effective for a puppy. This information is from the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Cavids Titer Testing--Canine Nomograph--What is it?
A nomograph is an estimate of the amount of antibody passed to a litter of pups from the mother via her colostrum. During the puppy’s first hours of life, its intestinal tract is able to allow colostral antibody to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This passive antibody helps to protect the newborn from all the diseases that the mother is protected from. As the puppy grows up, maternal antibody breaks down in approximately 2 week “half lives” until it is no longer present in the pup. While this antibody is at higher levels, it is able to neutralize viruses such as canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus. Because of this neutralization, puppy vaccine can be blocked. Maternal antibody interference is one of the most common causes of vaccine failure to immunize! The reason that puppies are given multiple doses of vaccine is because most of the time we don’t know what their maternal antibody titers are, and so don’t know when the vaccine will be effective. Nomograph testing helps us understand the best timing of vaccination to assure a litter will be effectively immunized. Because the nomograph is limited by the ability of the dam to make colostrum and for the pups to receive it, nomograph results should not be used as a definitive indication of protection from disease. If you are a breeder who is experiencing a disease outbreak, please contact us(University of Wisconsin school of Veterinary Medicine) prior to submitting a nomograph.(Reference: Baker, Robson, Gillespie, Burgher, and Doughty. A nomograph that predicts the age to vaccinate puppies against distemper. Cornell Veterinarian, Aug 1958, page 158-167.) https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b4179385 (Reference: Carmichael, Joubert, and Pollock. A modified live canine parvovirus vaccine. II. Immune response. Cornell Veterinarian,1983 Jan; 73(1):13-29.