Objective—To determine the proportion of dogs entering an animal shelter with protective antibody titers (PATs) for canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) and identify factors associated with having a PAT.
Animals—431 dogs admitted to an open-admission municipal animal shelter in north central Florida with a history of infectious disease outbreaks.
Procedures—Blood was collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Antibody titers for CDV and CPV were measured by virus neutralization and hemagglutination inhibition, respectively. Age, sex, neuter status, address of origin, source (stray or previously owned), health status (healthy or not healthy), and outcome (adoption, euthanasia, or reclaimed by owner) data were also collected.
Results—Overall, 64.5% (278/431) of dogs had insufficient titers for antibodies against CDV, CPV, or both. A total of 153 (35.5%) dogs had PATs for both CDV and CPV, 33 (7.7%) had PATs for CDV but not CPV, 136 (31.5%) had PATs for CPV but not CDV, and 109 (25.3%) did not have PATs for either virus. Older dogs were more likely to have PATs for CDV and CPV. Neutered dogs were more likely to have PATs for CDV. Factors not associated with having a PAT included source, health status, and type of community from which the dog originated.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most dogs had insufficient antibody titers for CDV, CPV, or both at the time of admission to the animal shelter. Findings support current guidelines recommending vaccination of all dogs immediately upon admission to shelters, regardless of source or physical condition.