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seabreeze
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:42 AM
I want administer the botulism vaccine to my horses. They have not been vaccinated for botulism before.

My vet office recommends administering the series of three shots two weeks apart. A friend's vet recommends administering the shots three weeks apart. Label information on the vaccine recommends administering the shots a month apart.

Does anyone have any insight on the discrepancy? Does it make a real difference? Thanks for your input!

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:53 AM
That vaccine is only approved for broodmares as a way to give the foal immunity to botulism. In SE Virginia a certain vet practice has been pushing the vaccine for all horses (making money in the process) and the vaccine is not labeled for use in anything other than broodmares. Keep in mind also that the vaccine only covers one type of botulism...there are several other types not covered by this vaccine.

This vaccine is one of those feel good vaccines...feels good to us to give it to our horses but it's efficacy for off label use for riding horses is questionable.

Bacchus
Jul. 14, 2010, 10:54 AM
I'm pretty sure we did it two weeks a part, but that was a few years ago. The only reason we vaccinated for it was because we were feeding round bales. I haven't vaccinated for it since. I have no idea if it works or not, but nobody got botulism;)

However, my friend's older horse ended up very sick shortly after the vaccination (I think shot 1). Not sure if that's what caused it, but she almost lost him, and they never figured out what was wrong with him. To this day, she thinks it was the vaccine.

tabula rashah
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:47 AM
Direct from label:
BOTVAX® B
Neogen
CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM TYPE B TOXOID
Purified botulinum type B toxoid aluminum phosphate adsorbed. Preservative: 0.01% Thimerosal. Contains no more than 0.2% formaldehyde as inactivating solution.
INDICATIONS: BotVax B is for the prevention of equine botulism due to Clostridium botulinum Type B in healthy horses.
DOSAGE: Inject 2.0 mL intramuscularly at monthly intervals for a total of 3 doses. Booster annually with a single 2.0 mL intramuscular dose.
Research has demonstrated that pregnant mares immunized during the third trimester of gestation, with the third dose (booster) given 2 - 4 weeks before parturition, respond with antibody. This antibody is concentrated in colostrum and results in significant passively acquired antibody in normal sulking foals.

I have always done 4 weeks in between-
In this area, there's no way I would go without it

JB
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:48 AM
DDB, I'm not finding where it's only labeled for broodies. I'm finding that its use in broodies provides significant antibodies in the colostrum.

Here's the label info for Neogen's BotVaxB


BotVax® B
BotVax B is a monovalent product for prevention of disease caused by Clostridium botulinum type B. This product does not confer protection against other strains of C. botulinum. More about Clostridium botulinum type B toxoid (http://www.neogen.com/botulinum.htm)
Indications
For prevention of Botulism due to Clostridium botulinum Type B in healthy horses.
Research has demonstrated that pregnant mares immunized during the third trimester of gestation, with the third dose (booster) given 2-4 weeks before partutition, respond with antibody. This antibody is concentrated in colostrum and results in significant passively acquired antibody in normal suckling foals.
Ingredients
• Purified botulinum type B toxoid, aluminum phosphate absorbed
• Thimerosal (as preservative) 0.01%
• Formaldehyde (as inactivating solution) < (http://www.neogen.com/epm.htm) 1.12%
Directions For Use
Inject 2 mL intramuscularly, using aseptic technique, at monthly intervals for a total of 3 doses. Booster annually with a single 2 mL intramuscular dose. Shake well before use.
Caution
For veterinary use only.

Do not vaccinate food-producing animals within 21 days before slaughter.

Transitory tissue reaction at the injection site, such as heat and minor swelling, may occur.

Anaphylactoid reactions may occur. Epinephrine is antidotal.

Use the entire contents of the container when first opened. Do not store opened vials.

For animal use only.

shawneeAcres
Jul. 14, 2010, 01:24 PM
Sorry but disagreeing with DDB here from first hand expreience. Many years ago I worked on a large boarding and breeding farm. WE had a broodmare die of botulism and then that same week another mare's foal came down with it. Our ONLY chance of saving this foal was with a plasma transfusion from the ONE horse on the property (a boarder's mare) that had been regularly vaccinated for botulism. Our vet took blood from her (I thin a pint or two, then separated the red blood cells from the plasma and infused the colt. As we did not have time to do blood tests, we took a chance the foal would not react and die from the trasnfusion, but had no other choice as he would have died anyways, he was rapidly becoming paralyzed. It did work, the foal survived, although it took a few weeks for him to recover neurologically enough to stand on his own, until that time we would have to get him up and support him several times daily to nurse. So the anitbodies from botulism vaccine DO provide immunity from the most prevalent strain that tends to affect horses.

Highflyer
Jul. 14, 2010, 01:34 PM
I've always done them (and all vaccine series) between 3 and 6 weeks apart. Usually 3 weeks for PHF, WN and botulism, as the "big deal" ones, and whenever it's convenient for the others.

minuspride
Jul. 14, 2010, 02:56 PM
When my vet thought I lost Pride to Botulism he told me the vaccine was not widely used in our area because of it's ineffectiveness. No one really knows whether it works or not because some horses are protected after they receive it and some aren't. My vet told me some horses do get very sick from the vaccine. But of course that could just be him bullshi**ing because I was quite upset that he had not recommended my horse receive the shots. All in all, Pride did not die from Botulism and thanks to the research I did, I probably would not ask that my future horses receive the vaccine.
Based on what I read, it said most Botulism is contracted through dead animals or such that are baled with the hay or just plain rotten hay. Theoretically if you are the only person feeding your horse (or if you have knowledgeable people feeding your horse) you would notice any bad hay and not feed it to your horse.
Just some food for thought! Good luck with it!

mpsbarnmanager
Jul. 14, 2010, 03:12 PM
As a BO in SE VA, I can definantly say that our vet office reccomends 3 shots 4 weeks apart AND an ANNUAL booster. Skip the booster and you just flushed a lot o cash. Its a good idea if you feed round bales (rats etc... Get baled with the hay and if they have botulism or the bacteria from the ground gets in the rotting body and the horse eats it, your horse gets it) sorry to be gross, but... ;). They can get it other ways, like if an animal dies and the body rots into the ground, even years later, the bacteria (well its not technically bacteria but its close) the horse grazes the grass over that spot, he can get it. I didn't have my horse vaccinated, I decided it was a slim risk. Yes, the local offices were really pushing it but I decided that if it was really THAT prevailent, EVERYONE would do it. One boarder did it for her peace of mind. One boarder, a 4 yo Arab mare had a MASSIVE allergic reaction. As soon as she got back to her stall she was rolling. Major hives, profuse sweating, nasal swelling to the point we had to put tubes up her nose to keep her airways open. Thanks to quick banamine and steroids she was fine in a few hours. Vet said he had never seen that bad a reaction. That was a worst case scenario, but just be aware of the risks. As long as you keep up your boosters, your horses will be protected.

EqTrainer
Jul. 14, 2010, 03:15 PM
I had a horse show neurological symptoms after the first shot. Obviously I stopped, thank god so did he.

Jeito
Jul. 14, 2010, 03:34 PM
I have been giving the Botulism vaccine to my horses since 1991. It protects only against the B strain of Botulism, but that accounts for the vast majority of Botulism cases on the East Coast. It protects all horses, not just broodmares. I give the loading dosage of 3 shots, a month apart, followed by an annual booster. No horse has had a reaction, knock wood. Fwiw, the first vet who recommended it to me lost his own horse to Botulism at a very upscale barn.

Here are three good articles:

http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AnimalSciences/pubs/asc173.pdf

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/botulism/botulism.pdf

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/botulism/beat-botulism.pdf

dwblover
Jul. 14, 2010, 04:05 PM
I gave the boosters four weeks apart. I have continued every year after without any reactions at all. Eighty percent of all equine botulism cases are caused by Botulism Type B, which is what the vaccine protects against. And it is not off-label use on horses other than broodmares, labels say healthy adult horses and then talk about broodmares.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 04:52 PM
Well, it was another local vet from a different practice that told me that the vaccine's primary use was for broodmares and to give immunity to the foals. I did not look up the label. One practice has been pushing it for all horses. The practice I now use (the one who is not recommending it for all horses) says that they do recommend it for broodmares in foal only.

I had a lot of my trimming clients panic when the other clinic put out bulletins suggesting that all local horses in their practice be vaccinated for botulism due to several outbreaks. They did not say what type of botulism it was and if the vaccine was effective for that variety or not.

So I did ask around and both practices were putting out conflicting information...one was saying all horses and the other just for pregnant mares. I was told that the second clinic did make some calls and found out that the vaccine is primarily intended for mares in foal. I do see that label and I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing or not.

So if you want to do it, unless your horse has a bad reaction, I don't suppose it will hurt him. It's not a very common disease and if you feed clean hay/feed, you'll probably be fine without it. I fall into the group that vaccinates the minimum necessary so I really did not fall into the rush this Spring to vaccinate for botulism when the one clinic pushed for it.

Carol Ames
Jul. 14, 2010, 05:01 PM
I used it for five years on everyone; including my mare before, during and after breeding/ foaling; The only reaction I ever noticed was in Mercury as a two year old; he did run an elevated temp for a few days; nothing to slow him down; given the fact that I used round bales once back in Virginia; the Peace of mind was worth it!
I want administer the botulism vaccine to my horses. They have not been vaccinated for botulism before.

My vet office recommends administering the series of three shots two weeks apart. A friend's vet recommends administering the shots three weeks apart. Label information on the vaccine recommends administering the shots a month apart.

Does anyone have any insight on the discrepancy? Does it make a real difference? Thanks for your input!

Po-Po
Jul. 14, 2010, 05:07 PM
Hi -

I am new here (howdy), and just thought I'd ad my 2cents. I use the Botulism vaccine on my guy and so do several other owners at the barn.

The first 3 doses are given 1 month apart and then an annual booster is given thereafter.

We have not had a bad reaction to the vaccine with any of the horses. A local horse on another farm did recently pass away due to botulism, so I feel more comfortable vaccinating.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 05:10 PM
One of those articles the earlier poster put up:

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/botulism/botulism.pdf

Type C (not covered by the vaccine) is the one usually found in contaminated feed. It is also the variety generally that would affect your riding or adult horse.

The first mechanism of entry is ingestion of preformed toxin in feed. When horses are exposed to botulism toxin in the feed in this manner, the disease is sometimes called “forage poisoning,” usually involv- ing type C toxin. Toxin might be present as a contaminant in feed, or if there are drop- pings or carcasses of small rodents in the feed bunk or water tub.

Type B (the one covered by this vaccine) primarily effects foals. Shaker foal syndrome.

Toxicoinfectious botulism is the second- most common form of botulism in horses, and this arises when the bacterium itself is ingested from soil and colonizes the gas- trointestinal tract. As it grows inside the body, it produces the toxin, and signs of disease become apparent as toxin is ab- sorbed into the bloodstream from the in- testinal tract. Clostridium botulinum type B predominates in the midwestern and Atlantic seaboard states, and it causes a manifestation of toxicoinfectious botu- lism called shaker foal disease. Shaker foal disease is a form of botulism that affects young foals, and it is mostly a problem in foals born to dams that were recently moved to an endemic area or that were not vaccinated during pregnancy. The disease takes its name from the muscle trembling seen in affected foals.

A vaccination against botulism type B is available for administration to pregnant mares; this immunization results in a high titer of anti-botulism antibodies in the colostrum and protection for the foal.

I rest my case.... :)

dwblover
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:29 PM
FROM UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY - COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE:

There are seven types of botulism
recognized (A, B, Ca, Cb, D, E, F, and G),
based on the antigenic specificity of the
toxin produced by each strain. Types
A, B, E, and F cause human botulism.
Types A, B, C, and D cause most cases
of botulism in animals.

IN HORSES, TYPE
B BOTULISM is responsible for more than
80% OF THE CASES.

The bacterium and its spores are
widely distributed in nature. They are
found in soil, sediments of streams and
lakes, and in the intestinal tracts of fish
and mammals. The bacteria will produce
toxins under conditions of decaying
plants and animals.

Although the incidence of the disease
is low, it is of considerable concern because
of its high mortality rate if not addressed
and treated immediately and properly.
The mid-Atlantic region of the eastern
United States and especially Kentucky is
where botulism is most commonly found,
although the disease is reported worldwide.
The spores of C. botulinum Type B
can be found in the soil of most regions of
the United States, although they are more
frequently found in the northeastern and
Appalachian regions. The western region
is more abundant with C. botulinum type
A, and type C occurs mainly in Florida

fivehorses
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:42 PM
Daydream believer, you pulled out only one section, and it really does not support your argument if you read the ENTIRE article. In fact, the title/headline states how important vaccination and feed/management issues are.

I would not rest my case just yet if I were you:winkgrin:

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:44 PM
Ok that's fine but is it affecting adult horses or foals? Are 80% of the cases found in horses Type B in foals mainly or is it also found in adults? Your information does not say what the demographics of the Type B cases are. Without the age of the horses affected, the above information isn't really telling us enough to know if it's worth using the vaccine on an adult riding horse or not.

If I read that article right, Type B affects foals and that is what the vaccine was developed for.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:45 PM
Daydream believer, you pulled out only one section, and it really does not support your argument if you read the ENTIRE article. In fact, the title/headline states how important vaccination and feed/management issues are.

I would not rest my case just yet if I were you:winkgrin:

No, I do rest my case. The ONLY vaccine available is for Type B which affects foals and is for use in broodmares. Reread the article. Obviously feed/management is important. I did not say it wasn't.

Jeito
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:54 PM
One of those articles the earlier poster put up:

http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/botulism/botulism.pdf

< snip>

I rest my case....:)


I posted the article. I think the section you quoted is confusing and you're misinterpreting it. A later article in the same journal - 2010 as opposed to 2007 - advises:


Vaccinating horses, pregnant mares,
and foals that reside in areas where type
B botulism is endemic (see sidebar on
page 32).

The sidebar says that Type B accounts for 85% of cases.

Source: http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/botulism/beat-botulism.pdf

fivehorses
Jul. 14, 2010, 08:55 PM
The article states there are 3 ways to get botulism...for the section you highlighted, the foals can ingest the toxin and then produce it internally. You only pulled that section, not the entire section. I really think the entire article, or at least section must be read to understand the authors report.

I don't want to paraphrase the article, but I am curious about the headline that says vaccine and feed/mgt are critical to avoiding it...I know you didn't mention feed/mgt, just pulled the entire title. But, the important point is 'vaccine', which you seem to think is only for foals.

I think one can get in trouble when they extrapolate information and don't take into account the whole.
I read that article and if I was in an endemic area, I'd be sure to vaccinate not only my mares(who are not broodies) but every one of my geldings. Shaker foal is just one target of the disease, but adult horses can get botulism, and the vaccine can protect them somewhat. The vaccine is not limited to protecting foals.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 08:58 PM
Please read that article again....both of them. The articles state quite clearly that type B...what the vaccine was created for is the variety that lives in spores in the soil. It is also the form that affects primarily foals. Type C is the type that is found in bad feed and affects adult horses...it is not covered by this vaccine. A brief excerpt from the second article:

Contamination Through Grazing
In the mid-Atlantic States, the moisture content and pH levels in the soil combine to provide a favorable soil habitat for C. botulinum spores, which grazing horses can ingest.
“This form of botulism, known as toxi- coinfectious botulism, usually occurs in foals (resulting in a form of botulism known as shaker foal syndrome),” ex- plains Suzanne Sewell, DVM, CVA, CVC, vice president of the North Carolina Vet- erinary Medical Association and owner of Crestview Veterinary Hospital in Marion, N.C. “The normal gastrointestinal flora in a healthy adult horse typically prevent the growth and multiplication of the Clostrid- ium organism, but the immature GI tract in foals allows the bacteria to multiply and to produce further toxin in the GI tract.”
“Although foals of any age can get botu- lism,” notes Sprayberry, “the peak age for affected foals is 4 weeks, with about 70% of cases arising in foals 2 to 6 weeks of age.”

If you all want to vaccinate for this type of botulism that is mainly a foal problem than go ahead...but you are not protecting your horse against the form that comes from feed contamination and generally kills adult horses...that is Type C.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:06 PM
But, the important point is 'vaccine', which you seem to think is only for foals.

I think one can get in trouble when they extrapolate information and don't take into account the whole.
I read that article and if I was in an endemic area, I'd be sure to vaccinate not only my mares(who are not broodies) but every one of my geldings. Shaker foal is just one target of the disease, but adult horses can get botulism, and the vaccine can protect them somewhat. The vaccine is not limited to protecting foals.

The vaccine is not for foals...it is for pregnant broodmares to protect foals via colostrum. See my earlier post where I copied that fact from the article.

Yes adult horses can get botulism but Type B, the type the vaccine protects against, is mainly a problem of foals. I'm sure the odd adult horse could get type B but if you read, you will see that variety...that is in the soil...is a foal disease problem mainly.

Type C is found in bad feed/hay. It is NOT in the vaccine so giving it to prevent botulism from bay hay or feed is a waste of money.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:42 PM
I did a bit of research. This is right off the AAEP's website. You can see that they also believe it is primarily a vaccine for broodmares and shaker foal syndrome. It certainly can be given to adult horses but it's not what the vaccine was designed for as Type B is not what generally affects adult horses.

http://www.aaep.org/botulism.htm

dwblover
Jul. 15, 2010, 08:18 AM
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1980 Feb 1;176(3):217-20.

"Toxicoinfectious botulism in foals and adult horses"

Toxicoinfectious botulism was proved to be the cause of a neuromuscular paralytic syndrome in foals and adult horses. In eight successive cases, Clostridium botulinum type B was isolated at necropsy.


And another......

Equine Vet J. 1984 Nov;16(6):515-8.

"Thirteen cases of botulism in horses fed big bale silage"

An outbreak of pharyngeal and limb paresis involving four horses and nine ponies in the south east of England is described. Nine of the animals died or were destroyed on humane grounds. The clinical features suggested a diagnosis of botulism and mouse innoculation tests confirmed the presence of type B toxin in the serum of one case. All animals were fed big bale silage. It is describe how, in plastic wrapped silage manufacture, conditions of fermentation may be inadequate to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulism. Examination of a sample of silage fed to the affected horses suggested that this was probably the source of the toxin.

And another......

Horse.com:

"Consider Vaccinating Horses Against Botulism "

The recent deaths of approximately 100 horses in Florida in an apparent outbreak of equine botulism have highlighted the need for a better understanding of the causes of the dreaded disease, and how it can be prevented.

Haylage contaminated with the botulinum toxin has been implicated as the culprit in the outbreak that spread quickly through a population of mares on a Florida embryo transfer farm (read more). Forage poisoning is the most common cause of the disease that, although well studied, fails to gain the attention of more publicized threats to horses.

"Historically, equine botulism has been considered a regional concern limited to areas of the country where Clostridium botulinum, the soilborne bacterium whose toxin causes the disease, is known to exist," said Dr. Jennifer Newman, Neogen's technical service veterinarian. "The traditional reach of C. botulinum TYPE B has been in the temperate Mid-Atlantic soils of the United States, including Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and adjoining states. Types A and C are associated with the vicinities of Colorado, Utah, and the West Coast. Disease outbreaks occur so sporadically that people in non-endemic areas have let their guard down when it comes to the severity of botulism. However, as horses and feed are increasingly transported in and out of the endemic areas, this once regional concern is becoming more widespread.

"To address this increasing concern, the American Association of Equine Practitioners included botulism in the list of risk-based vaccines within its 2008 Vaccination Guidelines," she continued. "Horse owners routinely, and justifiably, have their animals vaccinated against tetanus, West Nile virus, Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis, rabies, and other diseases. Horse owners, with their veterinarians, should also be evaluating the risk posed to their animals by botulism and whether vaccination against botulism is beneficial."

Neogen provides the only USDA-approved vaccine against the predominant cause of equine botulism, C. botulinum Type B. First approved in 1987 and sold exclusively to veterinarians, BotVax B has safely and successfully protected hundreds of thousands of horses and foals from equine botulism and shaker foal syndrome.

Just trying to show that adult horses certainly can become infected with Type B and the AAEP recommends it in certain areas for both adult horses and foals.

seabreeze
Jul. 15, 2010, 08:59 AM
I didn't mean to open up a debate about who should or should not vaccinate for botulism. It is my understanding that approximately 80% of botulism cases in horses is from the Type B strain. How many of those type B cases are in foals or adult horses, I do not know. What I do know is that the two equine vets that serve our area have noted that the cases of confirmed botulism that they have seen here have two common denominators: horses eating round bales and no botulism vaccine. Both vets are quick to point out that this could be merely coincidental, that botulism is certainly a risk with any hay (although it seems more prevalant in round bales), and neither of them push the vaccine.

So I have chosen to administer the vaccine because I probably see round bales in my future. Perhaps it is overkill, but it will make me feel better...and isn't that half of horsekeeping? :lol: I hope my horses don't react negatively to the vaccine, as some have noted. Thanks for all your input. :)

Ridge Runner
Jul. 15, 2010, 09:04 AM
Yes, an adult horse **can** get it also but it's kind of like vaccinating an adult person for chickenpox...what is mainly a disease of childhood. There are some adults who certainly can get chickenpox later in life and it's devastating when they do, but the vast majority of us became immune from childhood exposure. That is the same with horses if you bothered to read those articles.

If you look on the AAEP site it's a "risk" based vaccine...so you only give it to horses with a high risk...and that is why it's targeted as a vaccine to broodmares to protect foals mainly as foals are high risk. My stallions get EVA for example...another risk based vaccine...and sure...an unvaccinated gelding can get and have the respiratory form of the disease but no one bothers to vaccinate geldings most of the time as it's mainly a problem in breeding stallions who become shedders.

It would really really be interesting to see how many adult horse botulism cases are type B or type C. Until I see those statistics, I'm going to hold off jumping on the ship with the rest of you. I'm also going to suggest people who ask me about it do some research before paying for this.

JB
Jul. 15, 2010, 10:20 AM
I did a bit of research. This is right off the AAEP's website. You can see that they also believe it is primarily a vaccine for broodmares and shaker foal syndrome. It certainly can be given to adult horses but it's not what the vaccine was designed for as Type B is not what generally affects adult horses.

http://www.aaep.org/botulism.htm
However, that is not at all the same as only being labeled for broodie use :)

Ridge Runner
Jul. 15, 2010, 11:40 AM
However, that is not at all the same as only being labeled for broodie use :)

I was only telling you what my vet's had said and I may well have misquoted them. Whatever....

SonnysMom
Jul. 15, 2010, 11:41 AM
I saw a friend of mine's pony mule die from Botulism. Not sure what type. They even administered the botulism anti-toxin she got from New Bolton.

She never fed round bales. Pony mule was out 24/7 at the time and did not get hay. He would get a 1/2 a handful of grain when the other 2 horses would get their 3 scoops of grain twice a day. The horses were vaccinated.

Vet and New Bolton said that if an animal such as a possum or squirrel died in the field and mule grazed close enough to where the body was he could have gotten it that way.

There was a dead bat that we found the day before in the pasture.

I get my horses vaccinated.

Jeito
Jul. 15, 2010, 02:29 PM
However, that is not at all the same as only being labeled for broodie use :)

Exactly. From the same AAEP website DB quoted:


All other horses (where indicated): Administer a primary series of 3 doses of vaccine given at 4-week intervals and followed by annual revaccination.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 15, 2010, 02:47 PM
Exactly. From the same AAEP website DB quoted:

Would it make you any happier to know that I said it was not labeled that way BEFORE I looked it up and posted it on here as I WAS repeating what I was told by a veterinarian in my first post. I suppose they can make mistakes too. I did at least make an attempt to correct my error. :confused:

Only on COTH are you hunted down and burned at the stake for making such a horrific error especially when it's clear so many people were misled or ill informed about what this vaccine actually protects against. God forbid any of you might have wasted your money vaccinating against a form of botulism that generally affects foals. ;)

It doesn't sound like all that many vets honestly realize the difference either if they are recommending this vaccine to someone who feeds round bales..and for that reason only. Round bales with dead critters in them would mostly be contaminated with Type C...not B...so the vaccine would be ineffective.

scheherazadetbmare
Jul. 15, 2010, 02:51 PM
I vaccinate 4 weeks apart.

Seminole feeds also contain a product which helps.

With all the rain and humidity we've had this year, there are more molds/toxins/botulism out there this year than during droughts.

LSM1212
Jul. 15, 2010, 03:16 PM
My barn vaccinates 4 weeks apart for the 3 shot series if the horse has never been vaccinated for botulism before. And then annually after that.

Will not participate in the debate. :winkgrin:

WaningMoon
Jul. 15, 2010, 07:46 PM
The vaccine is not for foals...it is for pregnant broodmares to protect foals via colostrum. See my earlier post where I copied that fact from the article.

Yes adult horses can get botulism but Type B, the type the vaccine protects against, is mainly a problem of foals. I'm sure the odd adult horse could get type B but if you read, you will see that variety...that is in the soil...is a foal disease problem mainly.

Type C is found in bad feed/hay. It is NOT in the vaccine so giving it to prevent botulism from bay hay or feed is a waste of money.

Absolutely correct you are and I like to remember it by type C is the Carcass type. It happens in my area quite a bit, more than other areas from what i hear. Three horses died here in April AGAIN. Last yr too. This yr was one right near me, round bale, fawn found in bale. The other was two horses a few miles away but get round bales also and from same place.

I will only feed square bales and I look through each flake. It has been said the frequency is because we have so many fields here next to deep woods. The does often hide their fawns in the fields and when mom is not there the fawn will not move and they get cut and baled unfortunately. I know other animals get baled too but almost each time we have a case here and the cause IS found , it is usually a fawn.

WaningMoon
Jul. 15, 2010, 08:13 PM
Maybe this will help clear things up on the confusion to the different types. C is the only type I have heard of in this area.
This was taken from-http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/info_botulism.htm

And as I've said before several times all poultry droppings contain botulism. It may not happen often, but it CAN. I hate to see chickens and turkeys crapping around near horses. Cows are much more resistant to botulism than horses are by far. Nor are we supposed to spread any poultry litter on hay fields to be used by horses.

Serotypes
Seven distinct serotypes of botulinum toxin have been isolated (1). They are designated types A through G. There appears to be a geographical distribution of the various serotypes as well as association with different feed sources. The following indicate the serotype and the typical species involved in a poisoning:

Types A, B, and C have been seen in cattle.
Type A botulinum toxin has been incriminated in several outbreaks in horses in the northwestern United States (Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon).
Type B predominates and is referred to as forage botulism because of its association with contaminated forage.
Type C is referred to as carrion botulism because of the association with the ingestion of feed containing a decomposing carcass (e.g., rodent, cat, dog, bird) or from eating the bones of dead animals.
Types C and D are found in poultry and poultry manures, mink and wild ducks.
Type E occurs in fish or in association with the consumption of fish products.

dwblover
Jul. 16, 2010, 12:54 AM
From the Horse.com

Beware Botulism in Wet Weather:

"We need to vaccinate, particularly in this area (Central Kentucky), because of endemic Type B toxin," stated Stuart Brown, DVM, a field veterinarian with HEMI. "I worry about horses eating hay out of those big round bales covered in plastic you see in the fields. You want to vaccinate to protect against puncture wound entry of the bacterium, and to protect from contaminated forages."

"Horses can contract botulism three ways. The most common is ingestion of the toxin (not the bacterial spores themselves) through contaminated feed or water. Decomposing carcasses of rodents or birds, caught in baled hay, are often blamed, BUT IT IS FAR MORE COMMON for hay or silage products to be contaminated through improper storage or poor fermentation. The risk increases markedly when horses are fed large round bales, especially the wrapped silage type, which can become infected with botulinum. Outbreaks of botulism in several horses on a farm are almost always due to problems with this type of feed."

I feel like a broken record here:lol:. The risk in round bales is much more likely to be from Type B than C. I can post more evidence if necessary, lol. I just don't want people who feed roundbales to be misinformed.

WaningMoon
Jul. 16, 2010, 05:33 AM
From the Horse.com

Beware Botulism in Wet Weather:

"We need to vaccinate, particularly in this area (Central Kentucky), because of endemic Type B toxin," stated Stuart Brown, DVM, a field veterinarian with HEMI. "I worry about horses eating hay out of those big round bales covered in plastic you see in the fields. You want to vaccinate to protect against puncture wound entry of the bacterium, and to protect from contaminated forages."

"Horses can contract botulism three ways. The most common is ingestion of the toxin (not the bacterial spores themselves) through contaminated feed or water. Decomposing carcasses of rodents or birds, caught in baled hay, are often blamed, BUT IT IS FAR MORE COMMON for hay or silage products to be contaminated through improper storage or poor fermentation. The risk increases markedly when horses are fed large round bales, especially the wrapped silage type, which can become infected with botulinum. Outbreaks of botulism in several horses on a farm are almost always due to problems with this type of feed."

I feel like a broken record here:lol:. The risk in round bales is much more likely to be from Type B than C. I can post more evidence if necessary, lol. I just don't want people who feed roundbales to be misinformed.

I really don't care which causes the greater risk, any risk is not worth taking if you have seen a horse die of this and I have, twice.

The type more often seen HERE is C, the carcass type, the most usual culprit being a fawn. I don't think there is any argument that B is the forage type of seen more often in general.

dwblover
Jul. 16, 2010, 08:40 AM
Actually DDB just said that Type C is the culprit in round bales, which is not true. It is Type B, which is important because Type B is the only one covered by the botulism vaccine. I posted that info so people wouldn't be misinformed about round bales and skip the vaccine because they think Type C is the danger.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:30 AM
dwblover...I copied again from the previous page that which I took out of an article. The dead critters found in round bales (or any hay really...I found a dead fawn in a square bale once) are Type C. B can probably be found in a round bale like a fermented one as your article pointed out, but it's not found in dead animals? OK?

I don't know about you but I don't feed my horses fermented hay/silage. I would doubt that many of us do. Most round bales intended for horses are NOT put up fermented....generally that is cattle food. The round bales that 99% of the horse people I know who use them are not feeding ones wrapped in plastic so I would think the primary concern in a round bale cured as regular hay is animals inadvertently caught up in the hay.

FWIW, I feed round bales. I don't vaccinate. I have over 30 horses here eating round hay and I've never had a botulism case. I've done it for years. I do buy good quality hay put up and cured for horses, not cattle.

This is from the Horse articles.

Type C (not covered by the vaccine) is the one usually found in contaminated feed via dead animals or droppings. It is also the variety generally that would affect your riding or adult horse.

The first mechanism of entry is ingestion of preformed toxin in feed. When horses are exposed to botulism toxin in the feed in this manner, the disease is sometimes called “forage poisoning,” usually involv- ing type C toxin. Toxin might be present as a contaminant in feed, or if there are drop- pings or carcasses of small rodents in the feed bunk or water tub.

Type B (the one covered by this vaccine) primarily effects foals. Shaker foal syndrome.

Toxicoinfectious botulism is the second- most common form of botulism in horses, and this arises when the bacterium itself is ingested from soil and colonizes the gas- trointestinal tract. As it grows inside the body, it produces the toxin, and signs of disease become apparent as toxin is ab- sorbed into the bloodstream from the in- testinal tract. Clostridium botulinum type B predominates in the midwestern and Atlantic seaboard states, and it causes a manifestation of toxicoinfectious botu- lism called shaker foal disease. Shaker foal disease is a form of botulism that affects young foals, and it is mostly a problem in foals born to dams that were recently moved to an endemic area or that were not vaccinated during pregnancy. The disease takes its name from the muscle trembling seen in affected foals.

A vaccination against botulism type B is available for administration to pregnant mares; this immunization results in a high titer of anti-botulism antibodies in the colostrum and protection for the foal.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:34 AM
The risk increases markedly when horses are fed large round bales, especially the wrapped silage type, which can become infected with botulinum. Outbreaks of botulism in several horses on a farm are almost always due to problems with this type of feed."




Again read what you posted. It's the wrapped silage type hay that is the problem with Type B. Not Type C. ;) Type C is from dead animals and that is what you will find horse hay that has not been turned into silage. Honestly you could probably find type C in the silage hay also if it had som animal caught up in it.

JB
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:55 AM
Types B AND C can be found in ANY hay.

Hay does not have to be wrapped to develop Type B - it could have been baled too wet.

It doesn't take an animal as big as a fawn to cause Type C. While small bale are at much lower risk due to sheer volume, they can have dead critters and Type C as well - think baby bunnies.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:59 AM
I'd hope if the hay was baled too wet and got moldy most people would have sense enough to not feed it JB....but then again maybe not? **rolleyes** I'm sure Type B can be found in many places but the fact remains that it is not the primary cause of botulism in ADULT horses. Vaccinating an adult horse with that vaccine for Type B is not going to hurt it (most likely unless it has a bad reaction like many apparently have) but it's not going to do a damn thing to protect against Type C which is more likely to make an adult horse sick.

shawneeAcres
Jul. 16, 2010, 10:21 AM
One thing to keep in mind is botulism is anaerobic, i.e. it ONLY lives in the ABSENCE of air. so dead "bodies" that are naturally decomposing don't generally contain botulism spores due to the presence of air. Even dead bodies in hay often have decmposed enough in presence of air prior to baling to not be an issue. I have fed round bales a lot (although I do not now just cbecause I hate the mess), and never had a case of botulism from them, and have found dead bodies of rodents, birds and snakes. Just found a dead snake in a square bale the other day. If I DO find that I discard the bale for safetys sake. The botulism I have had experience with is in an area of Orange County NC that is known for periodic outbreaks of botulism, it is thought to live deep in the soil in that area, and periods of heavy rain bring it to the surface.

pmysliwski
Jul. 16, 2010, 11:17 AM
If a round bale is wrapped too tight it can get botulism spores. If you have ever seen a horse with botulism I do not think you would be inclined to pass up the vaccination. Better safe than sorry.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 12:19 PM
If a round bale is wrapped too tight it can get botulism spores. If you have ever seen a horse with botulism I do not think you would be inclined to pass up the vaccination. Better safe than sorry.

Was it type C or type B? If C, there is nothing a vaccination would have done to prevent it.

All right to all of you pro vaccine folks...if you can post scientific peer reviewed evidence or test results from infected horses that states that most (the majority of) cases of ADULT horse botulism in Virginia/Mid Atlantic region were caused by Type B botulism, than I will concede the point.

JB
Jul. 16, 2010, 01:17 PM
I'd hope if the hay was baled too wet and got moldy most people would have sense enough to not feed it JB....but then again maybe not? **rolleyes**
Unfortunately, it DOES happen :no: And sometimes, I think it doesn't get noticed. That's another reason I hate just sticking a rb out in a field. I like to know what's coming off it, so I peel it off and wheelbarrow it. Every now and then I find a suspicious chunk, and I peel off MANY layers to make sure there is nothing remotely left, whereas left to their own devices, the horses may just eat around it and not know there's something wrong

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 02:37 PM
JB...I have no doubt that adult horses are exposed to Type B...it is after all in the soil and all over...my question is this...how likely are they to actually contract it? How often does an adult horse get Type B particularly compared to a foal? How often is it Type C that they get? What I read suggests that most adult horses are immune or strongly resistant to Type B and it affects primarily foals...and again, that is why the vaccine is mainly intended for pregnant mares. That is what my vets told me and everything I've read so far indicates that they were right in telling me that. I just see little point in using the vaccine for Type B for an adult horse if it's not something they are all that likely to catch.

JetsBuddy
Jul. 16, 2010, 03:30 PM
I lost a horse to botulism - he was euthanized when we realized what it was and he wouldn't have survived the trailer ride for the antitoxin. I didn't have a necropsy performed to determine which type. He was out 24/7 on grass (no hay - early summer), no round bales, not being grained, no history of botulism in the area or on this farm. Horses and ponies out in this particular field for years. Two other horses out with him in the same conditions were fine. The vet said it was atypical and aseasonal - botulism cases turn up in late winter/early spring when the ground thaws and it can bubble up from the ground. There is such a small amount of cases in this area that the vaccine is not recommended so I didn't have him vaccinated. Out of 1200 horses the vet sees, half are vaccinate and he only had 3 botulism cases last year. It was a totally freak thing and we were unlucky. My whole herd is now vaccinated. The $20 per shot is worth my piece of mind.

seabreeze
Jul. 16, 2010, 04:27 PM
The $20 per shot is worth my piece of mind.

Bingo.

(and a little less than half that cost if you purchase the vaccine and administer it yourself)

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 05:18 PM
My vet just left a few minutes ago. We talked about this issue just to make sure I had the facts absolutely right. I was told that a rep from the company who makes this vaccine visited this Spring and hit all the local clinics and made a big push to the vets to recommend the vaccine. The Vaccine company is obviously hoping to make money via sales...I think that is obvious.

While there were 6 cases of apparent botulism in our area last year, none of the suspected cases in this region were ever proven to be Type B or even proven to be botulism. Necropsies were not done on any dead horses. Also Type B is apparently a much bigger problem in Kentucky than this region and in that area adult horses are sometimes vaccinated as there is so much more of a concentration of the spores to be exposed to. Since it is a variety that generally only infects foals, they are only recommending it to be used on pregnant mares prior to foaling. None of their own private horses are vaccinated for botulism either.

Our regional referral clinic with a board certified internist who they discussed the matter with also after the Vaccine Company Rep visited is NOT recommending the vaccine to riding horses...only to mares in foal as well for the same reasons. The only cases of Type B they have seen were foals.

So, if it makes you feel better, certainly go ahead...but odds are your horses aren't likely to get Type B botulism anyway. If you are worried about dead animals in hay, that is Type C and the vaccine does not protect for that variety. The vet did say also that she'd heard of a lot of bad reactions also this year as the other clinic's pushed this vaccine and a lot of horses got it for the first time...so do be careful.

pmysliwski
Jul. 16, 2010, 07:41 PM
Was it type C or type B? If C, there is nothing a vaccination would have done to prevent it.

All right to all of you pro vaccine folks...if you can post scientific peer reviewed evidence or test results from infected horses that states that most (the majority of) cases of ADULT horse botulism in Virginia/Mid Atlantic region were caused by Type B botulism, than I will concede the point.



It was a pony with type B in Virginia. Type C is the most common and I do understand that the vaccine does not cover type C. That being said, type B is out there and I will always have my horses and ponies vaccinated against it.

dwblover
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:17 PM
Botulism Reviewed for World Equine Vets from Bloodhorse.com:

"An overview of botulism was given at the 2009 WEVA Congress by Nathan M. Slovis DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, CHT (certified in hyperbaric oxygen therapy), director of the McGee Critical Care and Medical Center at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky.
Eight serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin exist and are labeled A, B, C1,C2, D, E, F, and G, all of which have similar toxicity. There is geographic variation in the predominant serotypes. In North America, botulism in horses is most often caused by Type A and B toxins, and less often C.
Botulism in adult horses generally occurs following ingestion of preformed toxins in spoiled hay or silage. "Silage with a pH greater than 4.5 is favorable for sporulation and toxin production," noted Slovis.
Slovis said botulism also can occur when neurotoxins are produced in wounds infected with C. botulinum, and in gastric ulcers"



From Rutgers Cooperative Extension:


"While feeding horses round bales is not ideal, as long as the horses are vaccinated against botulism and the bales are under cover where they will not mold as quickly it should be okay. The main concerns when feeding round bales are mold and botulism. The amount of “pecking order” behavior and fighting you may see will depend on how the bales are placed and how many horses will be eating from each round bale."


Merck Veterinary Manual:

"Gastric ulcers, foci of necrosis in the liver, abscesses in the navel and lungs, wounds of the skin and muscle, and necrotic lesions of the GI tract are predisposing sites for development of toxicoinfectious botulism. This disease of foals AND adult horses appears to resemble “wound botulism” in humans. Type B toxin is often implicated in botulism in horses AND foals in the eastern USA."


Okay, I'm officially done standing on my soapbox, look at the facts everyone and decide for yourself. I'm not going to go against the advice of vets and scientists, I vaccinate because my horse eats from a roundbale. If you choose not to, that is your choice. But I am not planning on finding out the hard way. DDB, I learned a lot from this discussion, you have very valid points. However, I'm still going to be an advocate for this vaccine.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 16, 2010, 09:27 PM
Merck Veterinary Manual:

Okay, I'm officially done standing on my soapbox, look at the facts everyone and decide for yourself. I'm not going to go against the advice of vets and scientists, I vaccinate because my horse eats from a roundbale. If you choose not to, that is your choice. But I am not planning on finding out the hard way. DDB, I learned a lot from this discussion, you have very valid points. However, I'm still going to be an advocate for this vaccine.

I hate to break the news to you but I'm going by my vet's advice also as well as the internist I mentioned earlier who are advising AGAINST the vaccine for adult horses (other than pregnant mares). This is the same vet who saved my septic filly's life a few weeks ago, so I know he's the real deal. I've met him.

I'm only an advocate for common sense and not making this vaccine out as a cure for botulism in all horses. It isn't but clearly many people seem to be under the impression that it is or that it offers complete protection...and that's how it was presented to many people in our area by the vets who pushed it. I know...I spoke to these people about it. No one told them that it only works on one variety of botulism and that variety covered is most common in foals and rare in adults.

I'm all for people who are very risk adverse to spend their money on this if they want to and it makes them feel as if they've done everything possible for their horse, but I do object to the hype created by those who are making money on this.

seabreeze
Jul. 16, 2010, 10:59 PM
I'm all for people who are very risk adverse to spend their money on this if they want to and it makes them feel as if they've done everything possible for their horse, but I do object to the hype created by those who are making money on this.

In my case, my vet never even mentioned the botulism vaccine to me. He has only responded to my questions about it. You might have thought (maybe?) that, as a southeastern Virginian, I have been swayed by a vet in your area (long shot, but perhaps this crossed your mind), but I don't use any of the Hampton Roads vets.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 17, 2010, 09:07 AM
seabreeze, I did wonder if you had been in touch with any of the local practices who pushed this vaccine so hard this year. They do some HMO and put out a letter (I got one) and it had all this scary stuff about how expensive botulism is to treat and how many horses died, but not one comment about the different types of botulism and what exactly the vaccine would protect against and not do...nor that Type B is mainly a foal disease. Several people I know were even called and pressured by office staff of one practice to "get on board." I'm sorry but that just really irritated the crap out of me.

Several people I talked to were very irritated as they would not have paid for the vaccine if they had known all the facts about it.

I am glad you are informed and were not pressured into getting this for your horses.

apcohrs
Jul. 17, 2010, 05:11 PM
According to the Merck Veterinary manual:

"Type B toxin is often implicated in botulism in horses and foals in the eastern USA."

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/50707.htm

last sentence in the fifth paragraph.

Ridge Runner
Jul. 17, 2010, 06:00 PM
According to the Merck Veterinary manual:

"Type B toxin is often implicated in botulism in horses and foals in the eastern USA."

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/50707.htm

last sentence in the fifth paragraph.

I'm done fighting with you folks so really...whatever....bless your heart. Until I see real numbers verified by necropsy of how many adults get the Type b variety versus how many foals, statements like that are really too vague to mean all that much...and God knows how long ago it was written. I'll follow my vets advice and pass on the vaccine for now except for my pregnant mares. You do whatever you want...seriously...I don't care.

Carol Ames
Jul. 17, 2010, 07:18 PM
While living in Indiana, twenty years ago, our vet showed me a map of known botulism cases; it was virtually EVERY STATE in the union:eek:; in some areas it is in the ground so, horses who eat off the ground, what grazing animal does not:winkgrin:? It's NOT worth the risk, vaccinate whether you feed round bales or not, but, if you do , definitely vaccinate:yes:!

Bluey
Jul. 17, 2010, 08:10 PM
Here, most vets don't recommend that vaccine, unless you feed big bales, which we don't.

Immune systems work the first phase when reacting to a challenge, be it the organism in an infection or a vaccine, in 21 days, after which memory cells are present to help warn of any subsequent infection with that organism.

That is why, for the vaccines that require more than one dose, boosters are generally given no earlier than 3 weeks and ok four weeks after the first dose.

Chall
Jul. 18, 2010, 07:12 PM
We never did it (NY) until we moved. The new barn used to be a dairy farm and the BO said it was everywhere, water, field etc. I was hoping to cut down on the vaccines at my horses ages (20+) but I went ahead because it's the norm in that region, and I am the new comer and I figure long time residents and their vets know more about the region than I do.

JumpinBeans81
Jul. 19, 2010, 01:50 AM
Bingo.

(and a little less than half that cost if you purchase the vaccine and administer it yourself)

Where do you get your Botulism vaccines that it is less than $10/shot?? Could use a source!! :) Thanks!

jn4jenny
Jul. 19, 2010, 09:08 AM
I started giving the botulism vax this year since I moved to the "endemic soil" area (mid-Ohio, same regional issue as mid-Kentucky). But admittedly, this thread has me wondering whether it's worth my money. I did a sweep of veterinary journal databases and found no articles that discussed Type B botulism in adult horses, not even as a passing sentence or two.
Hmm. Sounds like it's time to chat with my vet.

seabreeze
Jul. 19, 2010, 10:55 AM
Where do you get your Botulism vaccines that it is less than $10/shot?? Could use a source!! :) Thanks!

:confused:

Maybe I was smoking something in my dreams???

Oops...really messed up the math on that one...sorry! $16 a shot with Valley Vet.

Boy, that's embarrassing! :o