The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommends that all puppies and kittens should have their initial vaccines against the core diseases. 
It states that the last puppy or kitten vaccine against the core diseases should be given not earlier than 14-16 weeks (3-4 months) of age because, before this time, the maternal immunity passed to the puppies or kittens can prevent proper cell-mediated immunization. 
Serial vaccination programs ensure that the puppy's and kitten’s developing immune system has adequate exposure to the chosen vaccine antigens. This allows production of antibodies and generation of cell-mediated immune memory in the puppy's or kitten's own body that is needed to protect the animal from subsequent exposure to infectious agents in the future. 
All adult dogs and cats should then receive a booster for core vaccines 12 months after the last puppy or kitten vaccination. This, again, will ensure immunization of the dogs and cats that may not have adequately responded to the puppy or kitten vaccinations. 
WSAVA states that vaccination against the core diseases should not be more frequent than every three years, and non-core vaccines only as required by animals that have high exposure to other animals. If the animal is already immunized, frequent vaccination will not give extra protection. [1,2]
Vaccines should only be administered to a patient that is healthy and are not immunocompromised, either because of a significant illness or immune-suppressive treatment such as cyclosporin .
ANTIBODY TESTING [DOGS]
Above: Vaccines available in Singapore. Pic by LOLVet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) vaccination principles :
“When serological titers are used to help determine the vaccination/protection status of an animal, veterinarians should make sure these data have been clinically correlated to host-animal protection studies for the specific diseases and species being tested.
For most common vaccine antigens, the correlation between serological response to vaccination, long-term serostatus, and protection in the host animal has not been adequately established.
The lack of these data often precludes practitioner’s ability to make well-informed vaccination decisions based on serostatus alone.”
And if there was a "Positive Antibody Result" from the titer test, would that mean that your pet is actively protected for today, this week, this month, this year or a life time? Would a scheduled vaccine ensure a more swift antibody- mediated respond to a future, active infection or exposure?
The veterinarian must, therefore, have a clear understanding of the indications for testing, the interpretation of test results, and most important of all, able to explain to the owners the true implication [3,4].
Antibody testing for the purposes of determining protection from infection is valid only for canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine adenovirus (CAV) and should follow the guideline listed below , as suggested by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Guidelines. 
The availability of qualitative (end-point laboratory based) and quantitative (in-clinic) antibody testing for canine vaccine preventable diseases has increased substantially over the past decade [3, 4].
However, they test for antibodies, not cell mediated immunity .
A dog could respond to a vaccine with a strong cell-mediated immune response, which is difficult to measure outside a research setting .
So if there is no current, active exposure to the few diseases mentioned above, in theory, the body will not be producing a constant, high level of circulating antibodies for the laboratory or test kit to measure .
Yielding a "Negative Antibody Result" from the titer test, that suggests a need for a vaccination, may not be appropriate if the pet actually has able cell-mediated immunity .
WHEN TO TEST :
1. Owner request to check their adult dog when the dog is due (or is overdue) for a scheduled booster.
2. When the dogs for revaccination (booster) have or are:
Chronic/ systemic diseases
Adverse reaction to previous vaccination
Undergoing immune suppressive therapy, e.g., chemotherapy
Given low dose steroid
History of immune mediated diseases
3. To check the immunity after completion of the initial puppy vaccination series (>24 wk of age).
4. To check the immunity in adult dogs when there is no (or unknown) vaccination history.
5. To check the immunity of breeding females 2-3 weeks before planned mating.
6. To identify a genetic "non-responder" that may be susceptible to infection even after revaccination.
7. To check the immunity of shelter-housed dogs.
Above: Caution about antibody titer by BSAVA Manual of Canine Practice A Foundation Manual and AVMA .
ANTIBODY TESTING [CATS]
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel Report states:
“Because antibody titers may not reliably correlate with, or predict, the degree of protection or susceptibility for an individual cat, the Advisory Panel recommends employing defined revaccination intervals rather than measuring antibody titers to assure protection.” 
Also recommended by WSAVA, vaccination against the core diseases should not be more frequent than every three years, and non-core vaccines only as required by animals that have high exposure. 
Updated 26 October 2020
On 16 September 2020, the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) Singapore confirmed the first detection of Rabbit / Viral Haemorrhagic Disease / Rabbit Calicivirus (RHD/ VHD/ RCV) in local pet rabbits. Eight of the 11 rabbits with possible clinical signs passed away. 
RHD is endemic in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, as well as parts of Asia and Africa. But Singapore has never had a confirmed RHD case since it's first discovery in 1984, in Jiangsu, China.
The risk of contracting RHD amongst Singapore pet rabbits is deemed quite low because there are no known wild rabbit colonies and most pets are kept or housed indoors, with little contact between rabbits from other households. 
RHD primarily affects rabbits and is highly contagious between rabbits, and considered an acute and fatal disease. 
It is not zoonotic (does not affect humans), and does not affects other animal species. 
RHD is transmitted through direct contact with other infected rabbits, their bodily fluids and waste, contaminated fur, carcasses, etc. The virus is very stable in the environment - it is estimated to last about 100 days at room temperature, longer if it is cold and is resistant to freezing. Transmission can also occur via fomites such as shoes, clothing, equipment; predators, flies and other insects. [5, 6]
A Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) multivalent inactivated viral vaccine known as FILAVAC VHD K C + V for rabbits is now available in Singapore [verified on 3 October 2020].
It is recommended that your rabbit(s) that are 10 weeks old and above get vaccinated yearly against the classical (RHDV1) and type 2 (RHDV2) virus strains of RHD if there is a possibility of exposure to infected rabbits or their colonies.
Click HERE for information about the recent case.
Click HERE for AVS recommendation.
OTHER VACCINATION OR
VACCINES FOR OTHER SPECIES
Singapore has had our Rabies-Free status since 1953. Rabies vaccine is only routinely given to pets that are going to other countries and those that are maintaining an overseas pet travel scheme, e.g. EU Pet Passport.
No vaccines available to the general public in Singapore currently.
No vaccines available in Singapore currently.
2. Hutchinson, T.; Robinson, K. (2015). BSAVA Manual of Canine Practice A Foundation Manual. UK: BSAVA
3. American Animal Hospital Association 2017, Acc 8 May 2019,
4. Burns, K. (2016). To Titer Or To Revaccinate, Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, News, Accessed 8 May 2019,
5. Accessed 18 November 2020
6. Accessed 17 Sept 2020
7. Accessed 18 November 2020
8. Accessed 26 October 2020
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