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Sub-Q Rabies Vaccine, very bad prolonged reaction in older horse

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  • #21
    I havent done the rabies shot yet this year, my vet is coming out on Saturday to do it and just spoke with me on the phone saying that its the only one he wants to administer that day. So he has to come back for a third time to finish off the shots. He's a bit worried about a possible reaction and I'm a little worried as well as we have a show coming up in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure they are ok of course.

    The 2 that he said he had is Imrab and Rabvac. I will be using the Imrab for my guys. My vet also wants me to work the ponies afterwards. Nothing too hard, just to get them moving around after administering the shots. He's also always pro active and wants me to give them bute for a couple of days afterwards. He does like me to do this after he administers any shots though. My guys are never on bute, so a few days won't kill them and tends to keep them feeling ok. They were all 100% after we gave them their first round of shots a couple of days ago. Fingers crossed it goes as well this weekend!

    kashmere - so glad your mare is doing better!!

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    • #22
      Shoot, I'm trying to remember which one my horse got... I think it was Imrab. Last year it was Equirab.

      He seemed to only have a reaction to the 5 way, and it was localized. The vet I use for vaccines gives rabies on the right side of the neck and the others on the left, and his reaction was on the left. One horse did have a very mild fever and felt just ick for a couple of days, but I don't know which of the shots caused that. Fever was only about 102.

      The ones the other vet practice did that had the more severe reactions with the Zoetis vac. were fevers of around 103 which was controllable with bute/banamine and there was some appetite loss/lethargy with that, but the neck soreness was the scariest part since it was quite severe.

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      • #23
        My vet administers Potomac/Rabies (Imrab) combo. I and all my friends who use same vet have had no problems, fingers crossed.
        "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          We seem to have turned a corner! Not only perky and happy, but HUNGRY. She got hay pellet mash and bran mash this am with about 1.5 litres of water. And THEN (!!) I actually saw her take two big drinks from her bucket and start munching on hay. So she is on 6 small soupy mashes a day for the weekend plus small amounts of hay and we continue to monitor.

          I will get the info info about the specific vaccine and send it to those who have asked.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by seabreeze View Post
            My vet administers Potomac/Rabies (Imrab) combo. I and all my friends who use same vet have had no problems, fingers crossed.
            Isn't this off the market after the research that came out last year that the combo makes the rabies vaccine a lot less effective?

            JB do you have the info on that?

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            • #26
              I used the Potomac/Rabies combo for years-- probably 4 or 5 years, from about 2012ish to about 2017ish, give or take a year or so (I don't feel like pulling up records to confirm).

              This is going to sound really bad, but I used it because it took quite a few years for vendors to flag it as a rabies vaccine. They would still ship it to me when they wouldn't ship the straight rabies vaccine due to state regulations. So I exploited that loophole until everyone caught on.

              No issues. I even used it to do my donkey's initial series. Kind of sucks to learn it might have not been effective... I saw it for sale this year, though, and AAEP still mentions it as an option on their website.

              ETA: After a cursory glance at the only study I found, it looks like the combination vaccine affects the level of PHF immunity (which was already poor with all of the PHF vaccines). I can't find a study focusing on the rabies titers.
              https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/evj.13096
              Last edited by Texarkana; Apr. 19, 2019, 02:07 PM.
              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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              • #27
                kashmere, I'm so glad to hear that she's hungry and thirsty and getting back to normal! Hooray!

                Thanks to the others who have provided information about products with adverse reactions recently.

                I vaccinate against rabies later in the year (my horse is on an odd schedule thanks to vaccine reactivity issues and associated risk management protocol) so maybe Equirab will be available again by then. Still, it's nice to know which products have caused bad reactions in case it's not!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                  Isn't this off the market after the research that came out last year that the combo makes the rabies vaccine a lot less effective?

                  JB do you have the info on that?
                  I totally forgot about that, and didn't look any more into after I heard about it last Fall.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                  • #29
                    Well it seems it is important to vaccinate against rabies here in CT. A horse was just attacked by a bobcat which was found and tested positive for rabies. Fortunately the horse was vaccinated. BTW, the bobcat also attacked a golfer and was beaten off with a golf club by another golfer!

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by MsM View Post
                      Well it seems it is important to vaccinate against rabies here in CT. A horse was just attacked by a bobcat which was found and tested positive for rabies. Fortunately the horse was vaccinated. BTW, the bobcat also attacked a golfer and was beaten off with a golf club by another golfer!
                      I saw that too

                      Here's the article for those interested: https://www.wfsb.com/news/golfer-hor...JGfjWHULDkofsE

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by JB View Post

                        I totally forgot about that, and didn't look any more into after I heard about it last Fall.
                        I wasn't able to find anything about it. I wonder if that research hasn't been published? :-/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Not to alarm...on a FB vet list, the Imrab rabies vaccine seems to be linked to reactions. Just FYI. I would be remiss if I didn't mention it.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by MsM View Post
                            Well it seems it is important to vaccinate against rabies here in CT. A horse was just attacked by a bobcat which was found and tested positive for rabies. Fortunately the horse was vaccinated. BTW, the bobcat also attacked a golfer and was beaten off with a golf club by another golfer!
                            Definitely important to vaccinate for rabies all across the US. We are seeing a increase all across the country. Rabies is not something to mess around with.
                            "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
                            -Dead Poets Society

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                            • #34
                              The BO at our barn recently had her vet out to vaccinate a number of horses for rabies (no others as she does those later on herself) and draw their Coggins. The vet used the Merial vaccine and one of the horses went into a gas colic several hours later. Banamine, soaked hay, soaked food, small hay and grain meals, warm water in the buckets and stall time to keep the horse quiet and from being harassed by the herd were prescribed. Once he started feeling better he could go back outside. The horse felt pretty lousy for the first 3 or 4 days, and it took about a week for it to get back on his feet and feeling fine again.

                              Our own vet explained that the previously used vaccine was recalled due to being not as effective and the Merial replaces that vaccine for this year. The vets are seeing a lot of adverse reactions with this, which was the case 5 or 6 years ago with it as well, and until the ineffective vaccine issue is resolved the Merial is the one they will have to continue to use. His advice was to bute the horse an hour or so before vaccinating with this vaccine and keep an eye on the horse afterwards. Originally the fed wanted the vets to go back through their client's files and re-vaccinate any horses who had been vaccinated with last years vaccine within the past 6 months, but the push back from the vets was strong so the feds dropped the issue. My oldster gets vacc'ed in 2 weeks and I will be buting the night before, the morning of and that evening as well, as I usually do, purchasing a new tube of banamine and hoping all goes well.

                              OP, I am very sorry you lost your horse.
                              "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                              http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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                              • #35
                                I've questioned if it's necessary to give rabies vaccs annually on an older horse. UC Davis says rabies protection usually

                                lasts for 2 and up to 3 years. So why do we still give rabies annually?

                                https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/...es-vaccination

                                "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                                  I've questioned if it's necessary to give rabies vaccs annually on an older horse. UC Davis says rabies protection usually

                                  lasts for 2 and up to 3 years. So why do we still give rabies annually?

                                  https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/...es-vaccination
                                  I've always wondered this, too.

                                  There is literature supporting less frequent rabies vaccination in dogs, cats, and humans; and all are MUCH more likely to come in contact with a rabid animal. Yet we insist on vaccinating horses annually for it.

                                  Of course, I still religiously vaccinate my horses for rabies annually. It's cheap, effective, and generally safe... until this year/this thread, I would consider reactions to be extremely rare.
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                                    I've questioned if it's necessary to give rabies vaccs annually on an older horse. UC Davis says rabies protection usually

                                    lasts for 2 and up to 3 years. So why do we still give rabies annually?

                                    https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/...es-vaccination
                                    IIRC, I've read that it's actually *more* important to give annually to older horses, because their immune response is less robust.

                                    A very quick google yields this, which has some discussion that seems to support that line of thinking: https://thehorse.com/125039/older-ho...and-deworming/

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I took Marla 100 's reference to "older horses" to mean "adult" horses, not necessarily "aged/geriatric" horses. Especially in context to her link.
                                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                                        Our own vet explained that the previously used vaccine was recalled due to being not as effective and the Merial replaces that vaccine for this year. The vets are seeing a lot of adverse reactions with this, which was the case 5 or 6 years ago with it as well, and until the ineffective vaccine issue is resolved the Merial is the one they will have to continue to use. His advice was to bute the horse an hour or so before vaccinating with this vaccine and keep an eye on the horse afterwards. Originally the fed wanted the vets to go back through their client's files and re-vaccinate any horses who had been vaccinated with last years vaccine within the past 6 months, but the push back from the vets was strong so the feds dropped the issue. My oldster gets vacc'ed in 2 weeks and I will be buting the night before, the morning of and that evening as well, as I usually do, purchasing a new tube of banamine and hoping all goes well.
                                        I'm confused by this, and think it's important to be clear so that misinformation doesn't spread (I watched a wave of vaccination misinformation spread through my boarding barn last year and am a little horrified how quickly a comment like this can be distorted and turn into word-of-mouth gospel truth).

                                        Which vaccine was found not to be effective in 2018? Are you trying to say that Equirab is currently unavailable because it has been found to be ineffective?

                                        What "feds" were telling vets to re-vaccinate horses who'd received rabies vacc within 6 months? To my knowledge there is no federal agency that monitors/cares about/requires the vaccination of horses against rabies. (AAEP recommends it for all horses, but that is neither a government agency nor a mandate to vaccinate.)

                                        And Merial Imrab is the product your vet is using in lieu of another product, not a product that others must use (Rabvac 3 is also available).

                                        Finally, bute can help with sore necks, but probably won't help with immunologic/allergic responses or certain vaccine-induced GI problems.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                                          I've questioned if it's necessary to give rabies vaccs annually on an older horse. UC Davis says rabies protection usually

                                          lasts for 2 and up to 3 years. So why do we still give rabies annually?

                                          https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/...es-vaccination
                                          Rabies is still recommended annually because that study doesn't provide sufficient evidence to be truly confident in a longer duration of protection. Both because it's a single study with a not-huge sample size, and because it only measured antibody levels (which are just one part of the equation -- whether those antibody levels really effectively translate to immunity is a whole 'nother question). I heard at some point that CSU was doing further study on the question, but that was a couple years ago and I haven't heard anything since so I only hope it's an ongoing project.

                                          The Davis report does suggest that both younger (<20) and older (>=20) horses may be protected by rabies vaccination for longer than a year ... but the evidence isn't conclusive enough that it would tempt me to vaccinate a healthy horse less frequently for rabies. However, for a horse who's had life-threatening vaccine reactions in the past, and with the unavailability of a rabies vacc they had tolerated without such reactions, it would (does) tempt me to talk to a vet about the risk management pros/cons of skipping a year in the hopes of avoiding another dangerous reaction.

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