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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010

    Default sore from tetanus vax?

    I gave spring vaccines yesterday, and my 6 year old TB got his tet combo. This morning, I placed his grain in the usual spot ground-level, and when his nose got about 6 inches from it, it was like he hit a wall. After a few seconds, he managed to lower his head enough to eat, but he seemed quite uncomfortable doing so. He pawed a few times, which is normal behavior for him if he's frustrated from not eating fast enough (e.g. I'm late with dinner). He's completely normal otherwise, if a little lethargic, so I was trying to figure out what was going on. And I wonder if he's just super sore from his tetanus vax that he got in the neck, and lowering it to eat hurts. He did have localized minor swelling at the injection site.

    The most sore I've ever seen my horses get is not willing to bend under saddle. Am I correct in assuming this issue is just a sore neck?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Greensboro, NC


    That's why my vet has started giving all shots, when she can, in the chest

    Your assumption is probably right. Ask your vet about some bute.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011


    Have you ever gotten a tetanus shot that you actually remembered the side effects? They can be pretty painful afterwards. It would make perfect sense for the horse to be sore.

    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012


    My mare gets neck sore with ANY shots, so yeah, I can see this happening. My mare is also as you describe: slow moving, doesnt' have the range of motion she normally has, and sometimes, has seemed uncoordinated (like a drunk walking around). It wears off after a few days.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Philadelphia PA


    I am tough and get shots frequently but after a tetanus shot my arm hurts for a week. Its known to be a painful one. Wouldn't surprise me if it was the same for horses.
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"

    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Boogerville, USA


    For this reason I never vaccinate in the neck. An equine vet friend taught me how to give vacs safely, and all about alternate areas & the pros/cons of each. The best place is in the back of thigh muscle.
    I wouldn't just go do it on a strange horse, however.

    A video I made in 2009; back-of-thigh vaccinations on 3 different horses. Please forgive the rambling & stuttering: I can't do anything while talking; I certainly have trouble trying to talk and pay close attention to when I'm doing an activity that could instantly turn into a dangerous situation.

    This was, AFAIK, the 1st time this 2yo pinto filly received vaccines in thigh. My guys were very used to it, though my 29yo Arab seemed startled by the camera.
    Anyways If anyone is interested ~

    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Northeast PA


    The last time I got a tetanus shot was when I fell through a hay wagon floor and tore my shin below my knee down to the bone.

    The tetanus in the arm hurt more then the hole in the leg. True story.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    I agree this is probably normal, tetanus hurts (had one this fall and was sore for a week!) but watch the horse for fever and swelling in the neck wear the shots were given. If it does abscess you want to be on top of it ASAP.

    Any shot can abscess though Banamine is most famous for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    north of the Arctic Circle


    I wouldn't worry too much... just keep an eye out for any other signs of distress. You can give some bute for the next few days to try to make him more comfortable, if you want. Some light, gentle exercise would probably also help loosen those muscles up. Next time see if your vet can give the shot in a different location, as others have mentioned.

    The last time I got a tetanus shot, I passed out on some concrete steps on my way out of the office and got a wheelchair ride back inside. It was great/mortifying seeing everyone's faces in the waiting room which I had just waltzed out of two minutes earlier.
    "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
    but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

    Trolls be trollin'! -DH

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