View Full Version : Where to get Single Dose Ft. Dodge Lyme Vax

Jul. 22, 2010, 04:08 PM
Technically for dogs, but off-label for horses. (See? This is an HR thread!)

Cornell U. has done some trials with this. My horse was initially vaccinated before coming to CT. Now my horse lives spitting distance from Lyme-- that epicenter of tick-borne evil--, so I'd like to continue with annual boosters.

Strangely, large animal vets here have no clue or interest in Lyme vaccinations. My small animal vet doesn't use the Fort Dodge product and I'm not ballsy enough to try another on the wrong species.

Besides some cool source for single doses of this stuff, has anyone else used Lyme vaccine for horses? If it doesn't kill 'em and may work, it seems like a really good idea since that disease is just a management PITA.

If nothing else, know that one horse did not die, has been bitten by CT ticks and appears to be Lyme-free. Sample size is one, but make of that what you will.

Jul. 22, 2010, 04:24 PM
I would be careful and would really check it out before considering giving a Lyme vaccine to a horse. There used to be a Lyme vaccine for people. I believe it caused lots of arthritis like symptoms, and was removed from the market. Good vaccines are wonderful when used correctly. Bad vaccines can cause a lot of harm.

Jul. 22, 2010, 04:43 PM
Is the annual booster proven safe and efficacious for horses? Or would it just make you feel like you're doing something?

Jul. 22, 2010, 07:51 PM
I treated my horse for Lyme this spring. One of the other owners had their 4 y.o. gelding vaccinated after an extensive discussion with the vet. Unfortunatley I wasn't party to it. But I guess they really wanted the shot and understood the risks. I expect that since our horses are pastured together that they felt there was a real possibility of infection. I'll be interested to see what they do when Spring Shots roll around again in April.

Jul. 22, 2010, 08:36 PM
I have vaccinated non positive horses for lyme for about 3 years now.
I have posted about this frequently, and also posted a link to thehorse.com's website regarding their interview with Dr. Divers regarding lyme, including discussion about the vaccine.

Not enough time right now to repeat or relink, but do a search...it has been discussed extensively.

But, I will say, I would test my horse first(using the snap test) and if negative, and you haven't been doing it annually, the first series is a shot, and reboost in 3 weeks or something along those lines.

Lyme is not fun, and I have 6 horses that were not vaccinated that have lyme. Those vaccinated do not have lyme. nuff said that I think highly of this vaccine.

Jul. 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I didn't do a search here since I didn't think there would be enough horse owners using this vaccine, but hoped the DIY dog folks could help with a source.

I'm not here to defend the vaccine or my motivations for trying it except to give some context. My horse and I were Lyme virgins and moving into CT. I knew I didn't want to "diagnose and manage Lyme" to my horsie to-do list if possible.

Some ambitious, well-read vets let me know about the vaccine and the work at Cornell. Another practice in Upstate NY (not Ithaca or Central NY) also offers the vaccine. But that's not true for down here with the middle-of-the-road large animal vets I have met so far. None of those guys want to buy a 10 dose vial so they can sell me one. Understandable.

I see why people do and do not favor this vaccine. But for those of you who do, can you send me in the direction of the single dose?

TIA again.

Jul. 23, 2010, 11:06 AM
Why not print off the article I mentioned and posted on here a month ago from thehorse.com and Dr.Divers(Cornell) study.

I don't think you will be able to buy a single dose. It usually comes in 10 dose vials. Is there a mixed practice that would have it on hand, vs large animal only practices.

I also am kind of surprised that the ct vets aren't up on the research...show them that article, plus they can always talk to vets at New England Equine in dover, nh. they know of other vets and the results that are using the canine lyme vaccine on equines.

Jul. 24, 2010, 09:09 AM
Thanks again for your ideas, even your tolerance for my whacky idea.

I have hesitated to do more than ask vets if they vaccinate horses for Lyme or will sell me a dose. It's not my place to tell a DVM their biz, so I haven't done more than *tell* them about the Cornell stuff and that my very much alive Lyme virgin survived being vaccinated.

So another whacky idea: Besides New England Equine in Dover, NH, can any of you send me to a vet who would sell me a single dose? This is a tall order since vets generally don't (can't by law?) prescribe stuff for animals/people with whom they don't have an established relationship.

PMs are welcome.

I'm discreet, not stupid and fully aware that this is my idea/my responsibility. Plus I'm broke enough that I can't afford to sue any DVM for malpractice should the retired horse valued at $0 goes belly up. Horse and I are a pretty good risk as far as trying good but not squeaky clean veterinary medicine.

I'd just like to make an effort to prevent a disease that's a PITA to manage. This becomes more important to me as I think about moving this horse to a pasture situation where he'll have less supervision. I asking someone to find and treat Lyme episodes in this situation would be tough and the Lyme-infested wild horse out with the herd would have worse time.

Jul. 24, 2010, 11:18 AM
I don't tell my vets what to do, but inform them. Most local vets are out straight and don't have time to do research.

I also want to clarify, that I do not think New England equine is going to sell you a single dose. They are a resource for your vet to contact to discuss their experiences and knowledge...since they are a hospital clinic they are a bit more sophisticated in their knowledge and experience and do serve as a support and resource for more complicated cases that can not always be handled locally. Please do not call them to dispense a single vac, plus I don't think they have it nor do they have a relationship with you to even dispense. I only mentioned them as a resource.

As I said, I have dealt with 2 local vets who knew nothing about the lyme vaccine, but were willing to administer it to my horses when I explained the situation and provided them with documents supporting it. One vet made me sign a waiver...I was fine with it. All the horses were also tested to be negative prior to vaccinating them as well.

I have had a relationship with these vets, and since you are new to the area, if they are not familiar with the vaccine's use, well, I would think it would be more difficult to get the vaccine administered.

Its too bad someone from CT doesn't chime in. Some vets are pro vaccine, some don't know and are uncomfortable cross species use, etc, etc.

In the meantime, I would be using plently of permethrin to ward off/kill ticks.

Jul. 25, 2010, 09:55 AM
Is the annual booster proven safe and efficacious for horses? Or would it just make you feel like you're doing something?
Dr. Divers says:

"We do not know how frequently to vaccinate" in order to maintain protection against B. burgdorferi, Divers said. The vaccine would be of questionable value once the animal is infected, and safety studies need to be completed on it before it becomes widely used.


Jul. 25, 2010, 10:43 AM
I was referencing a more recent article from Dr.Divers published July,2010, not the 2004 article you posted, rclosinone.


As some may know, I have 10 horses, and have my own experience with lyme and the vaccine.
5 horses infected summer 2007. Fall 2008, bring in 4 horses from track and mid west, and have them tested, they were negative. Do some research, talk with experts on the disease and become aware of canine vaccine use in horses. Decide to vaccinate the 3 horses I rescued, but not one who is in foal.

flash to 2010 spring, of the 3 horses who have been vaccinated, they are still negative. 5 originally infected and treated are once again positive, as is my colt who I was going to vaccinate this year as a coming 2 year old. His dam is negative, so she was vaccinated this year.

In my experience, and it is a micro experience, this vaccine has demonstrated its worth to me. Treating 6 horses, 3 of them are drafts, is costly and has its own health risks with treatment.
Surely, vaccinations are also a risk. Based on my experience, any horse coming into my possesion who tests negative will be vaccinated for lyme using the canine lyme vaccine.

Individually, I think we all must look into the pros and cons of any intervention we impose or choose not to on our animals.

Jul. 25, 2010, 10:31 PM
Yeah, fiver, no worries about me cold-calling New England Equine for a single dose. I was looking for someone who could send me to the right on-line source for that or hook me up personally with their DVM to whom I could make my own request.

But your point about helping my local CT vets learn more is well taken.

It's also nice to hear from one more person who has tried this vaccine and been happy with it or at least seen a reason to try. And it enlarges upon my illustrious sample of one.

On the other hand, the next time my horse goes back up to Ithaca he could stop by the vet school for the vax. The large animal hospital is not his vet, but we are known around those parts.