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Vaccinations???

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  • Vaccinations???

    Every year we vacinated our crew for EEE, WEE, Tetanus, Influenza, Rabies and some years strangles. We always boarded our horses and vaccinations were mandatory so we did it. We did break up the vaccinations into two vet visits because my one mare would take a reaction (swelling around her face, heavy breathing, welts) and I wanted to lesson the reaction.

    Now they are home (yay), and I am really questioning what we need in the way of vaccinations. Especially considering my mare's annual reaction. I have been researching the risk of vaccinations versus the risk of contracting a disease such as West Nile. Is it worth it considering the low incidence of this particular disease up north? Rabies is very low risk here in Canada but pretty much 100% fatal if contracted, so I'm erring on the side of vaccinating for this particular disease as it's easily preventable. See, this is what keeps going around my head.

    I will discuss this with our vet but I know that they prefer to err on the side of caution as well. I was thinking titre testing but if antibodies are low or non-existent, for example, for West Nile, it takes me back to square one - low incidence in Canada, is it worth the side effects to vaccinate.

    We do live in the country. The horses will not be showing this summer, but they will be around other horses because we will be joining a trail riding association. We will also have friends come stay with their horses for a night or two.

    I'm not an anti-vaxxer but I am in the insurance industry and know big pharma is a pusher.

    I guess I'm just looking for other horse owner's experience and opinions on vaccinations.


  • #2
    I vaccinate because I want my horses to be protected from preventable diseases. Period. How would you feel if you chose not to vaccinate and your horse contracted WN?

    Comment


    • #3
      In many areas, rabies is mandatory. Other than that, I would follow your vet's advice about what is necessary in your immediate area. My vet considers what diseases are known to be in the area, age of the horse (thinking that older horses have a fairly good immunity already in place due to multi vaccines over the years), proximity to other horses, whether the horses will be travelling, and both general and individual health concerns (Cushing's etc.). I had one horse that seemed to have an exaggerated immune response to vaccines, and we pre-treated him with anti-inflammatories and minimized the vaccines he was given to the bare essentials.

      Vaccines for illnesses that would potentially be very severe, such as Potomac (relatively common in this area of Ontario) are always given. I have a geriatric herd, and they are usually given rabies, Potomac, EEE/WEE, tetanus, flu. We have not bothered with West Nile. So far, this has worked well for us. That protocol may change this year, however, as new horses have moved in within 0.5 km and they travel regularly (racehorses) so my vet may prefer a wider range of vaccines going forward. I prefer to only vaccinate for what is needed, and my vet is of the same mind.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Baboo View Post
        In many areas, rabies is mandatory. Other than that, I would follow your vet's advice about what is necessary in your immediate area. My vet considers what diseases are known to be in the area, age of the horse (thinking that older horses have a fairly good immunity already in place due to multi vaccines over the years), proximity to other horses, whether the horses will be travelling, and both general and individual health concerns (Cushing's etc.). I had one horse that seemed to have an exaggerated immune response to vaccines, and we pre-treated him with anti-inflammatories and minimized the vaccines he was given to the bare essentials.

        Vaccines for illnesses that would potentially be very severe, such as Potomac (relatively common in this area of Ontario) are always given. I have a geriatric herd, and they are usually given rabies, Potomac, EEE/WEE, tetanus, flu. We have not bothered with West Nile. So far, this has worked well for us. That protocol may change this year, however, as new horses have moved in within 0.5 km and they travel regularly (racehorses) so my vet may prefer a wider range of vaccines going forward. I prefer to only vaccinate for what is needed, and my vet is of the same mind.
        Baboo, our horses are 6, 7, 14 and 14, have always been vaccinated annually and all are in good health with the exception of my one mare. She is generally healthy but suffers from allergies and is sensitive to vaccinations, bug sprays, bugs, grass, hay, flies...……. Interesting about not vaccinating for West Nile. Here our vets recommend West Nile but never Potomac.

        Thanks for your insight!!!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by lorilu View Post
          I vaccinate because I want my horses to be protected from preventable diseases. Period. How would you feel if you chose not to vaccinate and your horse contracted WN?
          Like shit of course.

          Comment


          • #6
            What brand have your horses reacted to? What have you done to mitigate the reaction? There are options out there.

            I would not skip rabies, EWT or WNV. Strangles, flu, rhino ... easier to skip for horses that never leave the property.

            Comment


            • #7
              You could check the American Association of Equine Practitioners website (aaep.org). They have very useful information and guidelines.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                What brand have your horses reacted to? What have you done to mitigate the reaction? There are options out there.

                I would not skip rabies, EWT or WNV. Strangles, flu, rhino ... easier to skip for horses that never leave the property.
                Simkie, my mare reacted to the 5-way vaccination which I believe is EEE, WEE, Tetanus, Influenza and Rhino. I would cold hose her and give her a bronchodilator with the Aerohippus and she was always fine after. When we broke the vaccinations up between two sessions, unfortunately, I don't recall how we broke the vaccinations up and will have to ask our vet.

                Thanks for the advice. Strangles for sure we are not going to do this year. Flu and Rhino, sadly, I just blindly vaccinated against because that is what we were told to do but now I want to do what makes sense for the horse's health.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would ask your vet what they consider core vaccines for your area.

                  For me it's EEE/WEE, Tetanus, WNV, and Rabies. I skip flu/rhino and strangles on my retirees in a closed herd at home. My boarded show horse gets flu/rhino but no strangles in addition to the core.
                  Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                  My equine soulmate
                  Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
                    I would ask your vet what they consider core vaccines for your area.

                    For me it's EEE/WEE, Tetanus, WNV, and Rabies. I skip flu/rhino and strangles on my retirees in a closed herd at home. My boarded show horse gets flu/rhino but no strangles in addition to the core.
                    Thanks dani0303! I'm pretty sure my vet would agree with this but will definitely consult. This is helpful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I’m still waiting for somebody to show me a statute of any place where rabies vaccination is legally mandated for species other than dogs, cats, and ferrets (and cats and ferrets are really pretty recent additions to the requirements most places where they are required, which is far from universal). Maybe it’s out there someplace, but I’ve never seen one. Yes, there are implications to how a horse that is unvaccinated would be treated in a setting where there is concern the horse has been exposed to rabies, or in a setting where a horse is showing signs that it might have rabies, but I don’t know any jurisdiction that *requires* horses to be vaccinated. If they are vaccinated, the vaccine typically has to have been given by a veterinarian, or it does not “count” and the horse will be treated as unvaccinated if circumstances come to that, but that’s different than requiring horses to be vaccinated.

                      Note that this does not mean that vaccinating horses for rabies isn’t a really good idea in most places in North America, it’s just not mandated by law the way it is for dogs (plus or minus cats and ferrets). If you want a feel for rabies incidence in your region, you should be able to look it up, keeping in mind that data on wildlife rabies is skewed low because it only reflects rabid animals that were found by a person, and turned in to the lab for testing. Rabid animals that go off and die in the boonies or just get buried when found dead are not counted.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BruBoy View Post

                        Simkie, my mare reacted to the 5-way vaccination which I believe is EEE, WEE, Tetanus, Influenza and Rhino. I would cold hose her and give her a bronchodilator with the Aerohippus and she was always fine after. When we broke the vaccinations up between two sessions, unfortunately, I don't recall how we broke the vaccinations up and will have to ask our vet.

                        Thanks for the advice. Strangles for sure we are not going to do this year. Flu and Rhino, sadly, I just blindly vaccinated against because that is what we were told to do but now I want to do what makes sense for the horse's health.
                        So you've not experimented with brands or pretreated with bute or banamine?

                        Try that.

                        Vetera vaccines work well for my mare that reacts.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                          So you've not experimented with brands or pretreated with bute or banamine?

                          Try that.

                          Vetera vaccines work well for my mare that reacts.
                          No, no pretreatments or questioning brands, just making her comfortable after. I'll check out the Vetera vaccines. Thank you so much for the info!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For my older gelding that had 1 vaccine reaction ,he gets dex before his vaccines now, no further problems for 10 yrs.

                            Do not skip the mosquito borne virals - past data is not as strong a predictor as mosquitoes & ticks are rapidly expanding their ranges with climate change.

                            Flu/rhino, well I watched my favorite school horse die of the neuro strain in college, so I'm not risking that. It can also be carried on humans coming from other barns. My vet does those separately, he doesn't recommend that "all in one" shots as they are less likely to have current variations of flu strains than separate, dedicated vaccines.

                            I also vaccinate for botulism - I started doing this after I found a dead mouse in some feed, realized I didn't know much about botulism so looked it up on CDC. Nasty stuff, can live in soil for multiple years. And my decision that that was DEFINITELY worth $50 was validated when a neighbor's horse contracted it a month ago unknown source. He was lucky & recovered, but all their horses are vaccinated now!

                            I do not vaccinate for strangles because I saw that vaccine fail in person. I am very proactive in preventing possible avenues of transmission (ie shared water with unknown horses).
                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                            We Are Flying Solo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm in Eastern Ontario and have frequently boarded close to a river or marsh - both increase the risk for PHF. I maintain the PHF as I don't know where we might have to move on short notice, and I would rather have the protection (limited though it may be) than have to start over with vaccine and booster.

                              Mine get the four way (tetanus, EEE, WEE and West Nile) during the first visit, and then PHF and Flu in the second visit.

                              I moved Rabies off to fall a number of years ago as it is not fly born. Apparently there is shortage of equine rabies vaccine this spring and the vets are offering an off label cat (I think) rabies vaccine. I didn't get into the details as mine get it in the fall during the teeth floating visit. The year I moved the rabies my vet said that as the horses had been vaccinated annually for years they should be okay for the eighteen month gap.

                              I do vaccinate for strangles IF my vet recommends it (because they know of confirmed cases in the area) but otherwise don't.
                              ​​​​​

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I follow the AAEP guidelines. I give the vaccines myself and to avoid reactions I split them up into 3 separate vaccines: EEV/WEE/Tetanus, WNV, Rabies. I don’t do strangles with a mature horse and administer flu/rhino because of showing requirements. If I didn’t show and was in a closed herd I would skip that one. Another big one is I avoid all Fort Dodge/Boehringer Ingelheim vaccines. Those seem to have a higher incidence of reactions. Another reason why I choose to vaccinate myself....I want control over what product is given to my horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Toblersmom View Post
                                  I’m still waiting for somebody to show me a statute of any place where rabies vaccination is legally mandated for species other than dogs, cats, and ferrets (and cats and ferrets are really pretty recent additions to the requirements most places where they are required, which is far from universal). Maybe it’s out there someplace, but I’ve never seen one. Yes, there are implications to how a horse that is unvaccinated would be treated in a setting where there is concern the horse has been exposed to rabies, or in a setting where a horse is showing signs that it might have rabies, but I don’t know any jurisdiction that *requires* horses to be vaccinated. If they are vaccinated, the vaccine typically has to have been given by a veterinarian, or it does not “count” and the horse will be treated as unvaccinated if circumstances come to that, but that’s different than requiring horses to be vaccinated.

                                  Note that this does not mean that vaccinating horses for rabies isn’t a really good idea in most places in North America, it’s just not mandated by law the way it is for dogs (plus or minus cats and ferrets). If you want a feel for rabies incidence in your region, you should be able to look it up, keeping in mind that data on wildlife rabies is skewed low because it only reflects rabid animals that were found by a person, and turned in to the lab for testing. Rabid animals that go off and die in the boonies or just get buried when found dead are not counted.
                                  Here you go!

                                  https://ofa.on.ca/resources/livestoc...uirements-faq/
                                  Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by sascha View Post
                                    Interesting. Very recent, I notice, not even a year on the books so I’m not too out of the loop. It also doesn’t cover ALL horses, just situations where the horse is in contact with the general public. “Examples of settings that fit into this category include petting zoos; corporate birthday party, and other “animal experience” events; and interactive animal exhibits where members of the public are intended to handle or pet the animals. Therapy animals, service animals and riding school horses would also fall under the scope of the immunization requirements.” If you are keeping your own horse on your own property, or in a situation like a show barn with restricted access both at home and away, you get to decide if you want to take the double-risk (risk 1–horse might get rabies, risk 2–in theory if the government finds out you let your Auntie Edna go out back and pet your horse they could fine you).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I live in Ontario as well and for my ponies that stay at home, I give rabies, tetanus and west nile. For potomac, it really depends on where you live in Ontario. If its a wet, marshy area, I would give it. If not, then I'm sure you would be fine. I have not had to give it according to my vet as we are not in a wet area.

                                      For my show ponies I do add WEE and Rhino/Flu as they move around a bit from show to show.

                                      For your reactive mare, I would not give any combo shots. They can react more to that (according to my vet) so if you seperate them and spread them out, I bet you would have less of a reaction with your mare.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        In TN the State Vet. makes recommendations on vaccination for the three major geographic areas of the State. The list was shorter in 1990 when we moved here than it is today. Two major additions have been West Nile and rabies. There was no West Nile in 1990 and about 15 years ago we began to see a major increase in rabies cases due to rabid skunk moving west out of the NC mountains. Since the State Vet. is a public employee and their work is public their recommendations can carry some weight. We consult with our vet. but she follows the State's lead unless there is a good reason not to. We don't "break them up" and have no issues with reactions.

                                        Regarding strangles, we have only two of our four who ever travel and they get it for that reason. AFAIK (and I've not researched it) there is no recommendation on strangles from the State.

                                        In a broader sense you vaccinate your stock, and assume the risks of that action, because to fail to do so would leave your stock unprotected from diseases that routinely cause death and/or serious illness and injury. In Canada, where you have deep cold to keep some diseases in check, you have a different problem than we do in the TN Valley where our warm, wet weather invites organisms, good and ill, to thrive. And our horses came from Brazil. In that tropical/sub-tropical climate there's precious little in the microbe world that DOESN'T thrive!!! So there they have an even more challenging problem. A couple of years ago Brazil had a glanders outbreak and it was traced to some very poor equine management on a few farms. A good friend of ours is a Brazilian vet. and in an exchange over this subject with her I saw her head explode over the stupidity and negligence of the "horsemen" who allowed conditions to develop that allowed the disease to become active.

                                        In the U.S., right now, we have a serious measles problem and it's directly linked to two, hot button issues, immigration and failure to vaccinate. Without getting political, sometimes you face risks you didn't count on and if you've not been pro-active in assessing possible risks then you will suffer the consequences of your decision making. So will your horses.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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