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  1. #1
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    Sep. 11, 2003
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    Default Vaccine Reaction - very worried...

    My lovely TB is having a vaccine reaction and I guess I'd like some reassurance he's going to be okay...This is a rescue who the vet just cleared to get his spring shots as he was still quite skinny when the other horses got theirs. Vet administered 5-way and west nile late this afternoon. Just did night check and horse looks like he lost a boxing match - he has lots of swelling around his eyes and less major but still obvious swelling around his muzzle. Called the vet who told me to give him banamine and dex which I've done. Can someone please tell me it's going to be okay? I've never experienced this reaction before and I'm terrified!



  2. #2
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    Nov. 18, 2005
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    Default

    One of our horse's legs swelled up to a size I have never seen before, and he was fine after dex. This happened after the vet gave him a 4 way/west nile combo (I usually split mine up, and will continue to do so after that episode). So, cheer up, it should be fine, even though the horse may look awful!



  3. #3
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    Apr. 5, 2009
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    Missouri
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    Default

    You might want to read up on vaccinosis.

    Allergies, behavioral problems and cancer have been associated with vaccines (cats are routinely vaccinated in the leg so that it can be removed when they get cancer at the injection site).
    Vaccine reactions in dogs are more common than you would think (I had problems develop with some of my dogs from a vaccine). I imagine that horses might have some of the same problems when over-vaccinated.

    Repeatedly vaccinating for the same things will not increase immunity. Once immunity is achieved it is not lost.

    When was the last time any of you adults had your polio booster? Hmmm, did I hear all of you say decades?

    How many previously vaccinated people have contracted polio as an adult? Hmmm, I don't hear a chorus of affirmative answers.

    Why do we swallow the line that says our animals need annual or bi-annual boosters until they day they die?



  4. #4
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    Nov. 18, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieB View Post
    You might want to read up on vaccinosis.

    Allergies, behavioral problems and cancer have been associated with vaccines (cats are routinely vaccinated in the leg so that it can be removed when they get cancer at the injection site).
    Vaccine reactions in dogs are more common than you would think (I had problems develop with some of my dogs from a vaccine). I imagine that horses might have some of the same problems when over-vaccinated.

    Repeatedly vaccinating for the same things will not increase immunity. Once immunity is achieved it is not lost.

    When was the last time any of you adults had your polio booster? Hmmm, did I hear all of you say decades?

    How many previously vaccinated people have contracted polio as an adult? Hmmm, I don't hear a chorus of affirmative answers.

    Why do we swallow the line that says our animals need annual or bi-annual boosters until they day they die?
    I think that your post should be a separate thread, and I am sure that you will get more answers than you bargained for!

    The OP has asked a very specific question, and I hope others who have faced the same situation will chime in.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 29, 2008
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    Default

    Good Lord. Not the time nor the place for that crap.



    Back on topic....

    I believe there was a horse at a barn I worked at that had a reaction similar to this. Her whole face swelled up. From what I remember, she got banamine/dex and was back to normal the next day. That's also how we discovered she was allergic to the paste part of banamine paste. It was a mess; fat head and drooling like Niagra Falls. The good news is that it all went away quickly and the next day you wouldn't have known anything ever happened.

    Crossing fingers that tomorrow your guy is a new man!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
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    MA
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    Default

    Angioedema usually resolves fairly soon after treatment.
    I'd be splitting any vaccines up in futures, and considering only doing core vaccines.

    I'd also try a different manufacturer. It's frequently the adjuvant that elicits the reaction.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 11, 2003
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    Default

    Thanks for the encouragement and information, although not 100% he is looking much better this am and was very excited about breakfast this morning so hoping he is out of the woods.

    FYI, although this is only the 2nd vacc reaction I've personally experienced, I am aware of the risks and consider whether vaccs need to be done on a horse-by-horse basis. The half dozen 20yo+ horses I have only get west nile and tetanus yearly as per lengthy discussions with my trusted vet. This horse is 10 years old and had likely not been vaccinated in years, if ever, as it would surprise me if the previous owners would have neglected his feet and starved him but kept him vaccinated, so considering his history and vet's recommendation we decided it was a risk that needed to be taken. I sure am glad that we waited until he gained some weight and seemed generally healthier before vaccinating him though! But I'll be really careful next time and probably stick with just tetanus/wnv in the future with him.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieB View Post
    You might want to read up on vaccinosis.

    Allergies, behavioral problems and cancer have been associated with vaccines (cats are routinely vaccinated in the leg so that it can be removed when they get cancer at the injection site).
    Vaccine reactions in dogs are more common than you would think (I had problems develop with some of my dogs from a vaccine). I imagine that horses might have some of the same problems when over-vaccinated.

    Repeatedly vaccinating for the same things will not increase immunity. Once immunity is achieved it is not lost.

    When was the last time any of you adults had your polio booster? Hmmm, did I hear all of you say decades?

    How many previously vaccinated people have contracted polio as an adult? Hmmm, I don't hear a chorus of affirmative answers.

    Why do we swallow the line that says our animals need annual or bi-annual boosters until they day they die?
    Totally agree. I hope your horse will be fine, but I would be VERY conservative about any future vaccinations. I would never vaccinate against more than 1 disease at a time and I would space them at least a week apart. I would also not use vaccines from Fort Dodge - there seems to be more reactions with vaccines from this company.

    I also no longer vaccinate every year except for tetanus. I spoke with a holistic vet about it once and he felt only tetanus is a high enough risk to horses to warrant yearly vaccinations.

    Remember that wild/feral horses never get vaccinated and they thrive regardless.

    Of course if you show your horse, you are often between a rock and a hard place because of rules and regulations.

    Just because the manufacturer says the animals need to be vaccinated every year, it does not mean that's a true statement. What this really means is that they have not bothered to track the long term effectivness of the vaccinations!

    I lost a cat to vaccine induced fibrosarcoma - it was very hard breaking. I learned the hard way that vaccinating every year against everything at once may not be the best thing.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 14, 2000
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    Now In the Sandhills, NC mostly
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    Default

    definitely avoid the 5-ways for any immune compromised horses (and I avoid them altogether). He'll most likely be fine though--is your vet involved?



  10. #10
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Exclamation

    I agree with Ghazzu!

    Some of the other posts are ludicrous.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    I agree with Ghazzu!

    Some of the other posts are ludicrous.
    Maybe to you - to others they sound more like common sense rather than drug brainwashing!

    Your choice!

    Further readon for those who are open minded enough:

    Stephen R Blake, DVM, San Diego, USA, said: "The idea of annual vaccines is really questionable. There is no scientific basis from what I've been able to read. There was a good article in Current Veterinary Therapy a couple of years ago. They did a literature search and the two authors were not 'alternative' veterinarians, and they could find no scientific basis for annual vaccines. So it's just being done; there is no real basis for the practice. There are a lot of chronic conditions that develop some time after vaccinating. Some of these conditions that I see are chronic ear infections, digestive problems, seizures, skin problems, and behavioural problems".
    http://www.curezone.com/art/read.asp?ID=94&db=2&C0=735



  12. #12
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    Sep. 11, 2003
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    Default

    Wow, lots of strong opinions on this! I run a boarding barn with about 25 horses and many of them go to shows/clinics regularly. I also frequently bring in quite a few rescue/rehabs from a local feed lot that have been exposed to god-knows-what, so even though they are quarantined for a while when they arrive, I do worry about exposure and want to keep my boarders and my existing herd safe.

    I know Fort Dodge has a shaky rep (and truthfully I'm not sure who manufactured the vaccines my horse received yesterday) but actually spoke with a veterinarian friend this morning (not the one who vaccinated this horse) and he said he's had a better track record with Fort Dodge than anything else he's used, so I guess there a lot of different opinions about that too!



  13. #13
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    Apr. 3, 2003
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    Up the creek from bar.ka
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    Default

    My mare got very sick from her vaccinations this year. She was at 310 days into her pregnancy (or thereabouts) and had a 103.9 fever and major swelling in her legs. She lost all the hair down the inside of her legs, it came off in clumps. I was very worried for the foal. But she responded well to the bute and banamine and everything turned out alright. It took a couple weeks for her legs to return to normal. :-(

    edited to add... that I always split up the vaccinations for my mare. She almost always has some type of reaction, usually not as extreme as this last one though.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2009
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    625

    Lightbulb Reactions in Rescues

    The vet said to try a different needle on my horse, so that's what we're doing. Also, some mixtures/bases of what the vaccine go in are supposedly more reactive than others--keep a diary on this horse of what brands you gave him and how he reacted to each. Every horse is different. That's what I plan to do with my new OTTB rescue who reacts to shots as well (anaphalactic shock is what we were told to expect)



  15. #15
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    Apr. 10, 2008
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    660

    Default Vaccine Reaction

    The danger with those types of reactions is that the swelling can get bad enough to obstruct the airway - fortunately, that happens quickly if it's going to happen at all. So when you saw your horse the swelling was probably already getting better - antiinflammatories are just the trick +/- antihistamines. I would be careful about vaccinating again since you don't know what in which vaccine caused the problem. It would be slightly more likely to happen again.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 1, 2006
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    440

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieB View Post
    You might want to read up on vaccinosis.

    Allergies, behavioral problems and cancer have been associated with vaccines (cats are routinely vaccinated in the leg so that it can be removed when they get cancer at the injection site).
    Vaccine reactions in dogs are more common than you would think (I had problems develop with some of my dogs from a vaccine). I imagine that horses might have some of the same problems when over-vaccinated.

    Repeatedly vaccinating for the same things will not increase immunity. Once immunity is achieved it is not lost.

    When was the last time any of you adults had your polio booster? Hmmm, did I hear all of you say decades?

    How many previously vaccinated people have contracted polio as an adult? Hmmm, I don't hear a chorus of affirmative answers.

    Why do we swallow the line that says our animals need annual or bi-annual boosters until they day they die?
    I have a masters in Virology, so please let me clear up some bad information. You are correct that the adjuvant in vaccines have caused cancer at injection sites, and vaccine reactions do happen. But your info about immunity is a little off.

    Most of the horse vaccines are killed virus particles, and that creates a very "light" immune response, and creates first defense antibodies that only last a few months. These are very safe vaccines in the fact that you cannot get the disease from the vaccine. The downfall is that you have to booster repeatedly.

    If you use an attenuated (also called modified live) vaccine, you will create a much longer lasting immunity. The attenuated vaccine is the actual virus which has been modified so it isn't as strong as the full blown disease, so you will still be infected, you just won't get sick because the virus is weak enough that your body can fight it without showing symptoms. The downfall to this is that it can revert back to the disease and can potentially spread.

    Now, just to make things exciting, there are different types of virus, as mentioned above, Polio requires only 1 vaccine. It's a big, stable DNA virus, and thus does not change rapidly, so once a body sees it, you're immune. Influenza, on the other hand, is a rapidly mutating virus, and it's very adaptable and will change "appearances" so to speak, to evade the immune responses. This is why we should get flu vaccines every year, because every year it's a different vaccine.

    Now here is my soapbox: vaccines have taken a big hit recently, and a lot of people are decreasing or eliminating vaccinations. In some cases this is warranted, but in many cases, people talk about vaccines like they are monsters. Due to a very diligent and responsible vaccination program, along with improved medicine, the world has seen a dramatic decrease in disease and disease related death--or at least in first world countries. But I see an alarming trend where people are not vaccinating pets and children or themselves, and claim over vaccinating is the root of all evil. Well, some people can get away with it because of herd immunity--if everyone else is vaccinated, there is a good chance that you won't get the disease because everyone else around you is protected. But if the trend continues, we are going to have pandemic episodes of disease. So please, vaccinate when possible, weigh the negative consequences, but realize vaccines have saved countless lives and improved the health of the world in general. Disease is the enemy, so don't snub your number one defense.



  17. #17
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    May. 6, 2006
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    Warren County, NJ
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide
    I also no longer vaccinate every year except for tetanus. I spoke with a holistic vet about it once and he felt only tetanus is a high enough risk to horses to warrant yearly vaccinations.
    This is actually one of the few contrary to your vet's thoughts I feel you can skip a year on. Look at Europe, tetanus every other year, the UK in some areas even goes every 3rd year.
    Australia, booster every 4 to 5 years for Tetanus! (http://www.cyberhorse.net.au/csl/vaccine.htm)
    So I will repeat myself again, I've brought this up here before, why does the US think it only offers immunity for just 1 year? (I know a vet has to adhere to the label of the vaccine, else could be held liable)
    But surely, tetanus is no different here then in Australia, or is it? Or is the US vaccine just a weenie compared to elephant vaccine elsewhere , just kidding...

    I know it's never going to happen, but it would be nice if a study could be done on the immunity length of tetanus in horses.

    Vaccination is necessary to save lives, but more doesn't have to mean better. Wouldn't it just be nice if less was protective too, as my above example for tetanus.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 7, 2008
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewgirl34 View Post
    Most of the horse vaccines are killed virus particles, and that creates a very "light" immune response, and creates first defense antibodies that only last a few months. These are very safe vaccines in the fact that you cannot get the disease from the vaccine. The downfall is that you have to booster repeatedly.
    For many vaccines, though, I thought you can do titer tests to find out what the animal's immunity levels actually are before sticking them with another vaccine they may not need. That seems like the best of both worlds, provided the pet owner can pay for the titer testing - the animal only gets vaccinated if the immunity has dropped below a certain level, and so isn't subjected to the stress of vaccination (including the stress of the immune response) more frequently than is actually necessary.



  19. #19
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    It would be so nice, if we could just titer and decide based upon that, but from my limited understanding it's more complicated then that.
    We almost need a separate thread for this.
    What the body needs is cell-mediated immunity, x number of antibodies in certain horse's body vs 2x of antibodies in another horse, doesn't mean either one of them is protected more or less or protected at all.
    Sadly technology is not that advanced just yet to be able to measure CMI. (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

    Titering can give you an indication, but not as safe as knowing your horse has been vaccinated within the manufacturer's vaccine protection period.
    I'd love to be able to go by titering, but it's not a proven safe factor.

    Same with rabies, aren't they doing a 7 year study at present. I bet in the end they'll be able to conclude it's protective for 3 years just like in dogs, but untill such time we are stuck with yearly as no study beyond that available.

    I'm very convinced we are overvaccinating, and I judge my vaccination schedule on that. But each has to decide that one on their own and feel confident with it.



  20. #20
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghazzu View Post
    Angioedema usually resolves fairly soon after treatment.
    I'd be splitting any vaccines up in futures, and considering only doing core vaccines.

    I'd also try a different manufacturer. It's frequently the adjuvant that elicits the reaction.

    Ditto on this. My vet doesn't give 5- ways and certainly would not pile a WNV on top of that. Everything is split up and given over a period of time. We consider the time of year, the current alerts and the weather (wet, dry, etc) to plan when to give what.

    Even so, last year I had a horse have a systemic reaction to a vaccine, that ultimately ended up in him losing his life. You just cannot be too careful w/vaccines, they are definately a necessary evil. Prior to that one of mine had a systemic reaction that resulted in a mild case of vasculitis. We got to "test" if he was truly recovered from being IR by giving him dex it was one of the scariest times of my horse career. Thank goodness he was fine.

    I hope your guy continues to do well... what a scary thing. Given you probably don't have much history on him, do consider that perhaps he has had reactions before and vaccinating him in the future will be risky. Who knows.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



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