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Vaccinating for strangles?

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  • Vaccinating for strangles?

    Just going through my horse's vaccination records tonight (making sure I recorded everything when it happened!), and I got to thinking about the strangles vaccine. My horse has never been vaccinated for strangles. I travel all over the midwest to shows, all year round. I am currently in MI.... was recently in OH. I don't know much about vaccinating for strangles, and had always heard we were in a low-risk area, so I never bothered to look into it further. HOWEVER, at one of the last local shows I was at, my trailer was parked next to a trailer belonging to a local trainer and some of his clients. I later heard from some friends that this trainer's barn HAS STRANGLES and he is STILL taking clients to outside shows!! Which freaked me out a little, to say the least!

    Would you vaccinate a constantly traveling show horse for strangles? I just worry about the number of other horses she might come in contact with in our travels.
    Eventing-A-Gogo: Adventures of a Barefoot Event Horse and her Human
    The Reeling: An Unexpected Mareventure

  • #2
    Yes and use the intra-nasal modified live vaccine.

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    • #3
      I dont do it. I have heard too many horror stories about reactions from both the IN and the IM vax. I have also been told the vax doesnt really provide much protection....and, its generally not fatal, a pain in the arse, yes, fatal, not usually.
      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
      carolprudm

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      • #4
        The barn where I board requires IN strangles yearly, so I don't have much of a choice. If I were traveling to shows frequently, I would do it regardless of barn policy.

        In 5 + years of boarding at this barn, I don't recall a single reaction or a single case of strangles in a horse that had been vaxed with the IN stuff. We've had between 100 and 150 horses on the property getting vaccinated in the spring. That's a pretty good sample size.

        The IN vaccine seems to be very safe and very effective against whatever strains we have here in Northern CO. It does require a vet that's good at administering IN vaccine, though.

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        • #5
          I look at both whether the horse will be traveling a lot or lives in a situation (like a boarding barn) where other horses come and go. Either will increase the risk of exposure, so I vaccinate all those. Now if I kept my horses at home and never went anywhere, or brought new horses in, I might not vacc.

          Yes, the vaccine won't prevent the disease, but it can help them not get it quite so badly. I've not seen/heard of any problems with the IN when properly administered. Other than uncooperative horses (I have one that HATES IN anything -- he has to be sedated)!

          We used to have to do the IM version and that was painful -- lots of sore horses back then. I believe the IN is also more effective than the IM, but I'm not sure.

          Best advice - ask your vet, unless you think they'll just try to sell it to you to make a buck (mine won't, so I trust his answer!).

          Comment


          • #6
            The IN version is signifcantly safer than the IM version. And you can lower your risks even further if you are truely worried, by doing a titer count on your horse before dosing. If his antibodies are high, you don't need to vaccinate.
            http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

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            • #7
              I do not. One horse has had strangles, the other- well he will not get the vaccine- had a bad reaction. So the 3yo won't either.
              The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra

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              • #8
                We had a horse come into our barn who (unknown to us) had been vaccinated for strangles a few days before being transported. She had been kept in the front pasture for a few hours after her arrival before being brought in a stall. Within a week, every horse that had used that pasture came down with strangles! It was a worrysome, terrible time.
                After talking with our vet, we learned the vaccination is a live virus and is CONTAGIOUS for the first two weeks! Why they would vaccinate the horse only days before transport was beyond us. And even more galling, the barn she came from is owned by a vet, who should have known better!

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                • #9
                  My horse had a terrible reaction to the IM, he got really sick for about 2 days so he never gets it but also doesn't go away from my farm too often.

                  I had another horse who had it and it was scary but since we caught it quickly we treated it and he was fine. I think I was more upset than he was.

                  It seems irresponsible for someone to be traveling to a show with horses that have been potentially exposed. I guess it wouldn't hurt to do the IN and do everything you can to not get your horse close to others or water troughs, buckets, etc. For sure talk to your vet.
                  Ready ~ 1999-2009 ~ you were bigger than life!
                  Stickers ~ 1985-2011 ~ Cody's BFF
                  I miss you both very much!

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                  • #10
                    I asked my vet

                    I asked my vet before taking my horse to the trainer. He said to do the IN at least two weeks before taking her and that it would probably be effective for about 4 months.
                    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TikiSoo View Post
                      After talking with our vet, we learned the vaccination is a live virus and is CONTAGIOUS for the first two weeks! Why they would vaccinate the horse only days before transport was beyond us. And even more galling, the barn she came from is owned by a vet, who should have known better!
                      Oh come on! Your bullshit-o-meter didn't start dinging with that one?!

                      The IN strangles vaccine is a modified live vaccine. So are a whole bunch of other vaccines we give our horses (and dogs and cats and babies.) Modified live vaccine does not = the horse is infected and contagious for two weeks following. Perhaps you'd like to read up on the different type of vaccine?

                      It's far more likely that the horse picked up strangles in transport and had a minor case that you never noticed and then transmitted it to the other horses.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                        Oh come on! Your bullshit-o-meter didn't start dinging with that one?!

                        The IN strangles vaccine is a modified live vaccine. So are a whole bunch of other vaccines we give our horses (and dogs and cats and babies.) Modified live vaccine does not = the horse is infected and contagious for two weeks following. Perhaps you'd like to read up on the different type of vaccine?

                        It's far more likely that the horse picked up strangles in transport and had a minor case that you never noticed and then transmitted it to the other horses.

                        That's what I was thinking Simkie!

                        If your vet told you that a horse is CONTAGIOUS for 2 weeks after receiving the strangles vaccine then your vet is a moron and you should probably look for a new one!

                        I've always given the IN one to my horses. Our barn had a strangles outbreak this year and probably 70% of the horses had not been vaccinated due to ridiculous rumors like this. ALL of the non-vaccinated horses got it. Some cases were mild some were really bad. No way would I risk not getting it now. In this part of the country (TX) it's a necessity
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The barn I work at vaccinates all horses, spring & fall. Last fall a horse who never, EVER leaves the barn came down with strangles. He was already on individual turnout & didn't share a fence line with any other horses. He was immediately quarantined, all necessary precautions were taken. All other horses were boostered. Of 26 vaccinated horses, three more got sick, one who had an adjacent stall & then the two on either side of the previously adjacent horse when he was moved to get away from the sick horse (make sense?!). Of course my horse was one of those. None of the horses abcessed, one was pretty sick, but the other two were off their feed for a day or two & then back to normal. I give it because my barn requires it, but if I could choose, I wouldn't. I just don't feel it's effective enough to warrant giving it.
                          "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            chism, I'm curious--what part of the country are you in?

                            I think the effectiveness of the IN vax varies based on where you are. I recall one of the big hospitals back east telling someone here (I think one of the racehorse Lauries? LaurieB or LaurieRace?) that the vax was worthless after treating a very sick horse with strangles that had been vaccinated.

                            But in Colorado the vax works VERY well.

                            I suspect we've got different strains of strangles across the country, and the IN vaccine is more effective against some of them...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              IN, definitely. If you're giving other vax at the same time, give the IN last -- don't want to get any of the strangles vax or nose blowout on the other needles, hands, or site.

                              We've been using it for several years (since it came out?) and have had no reactions or cases (knock on wood). May just be luck, but I'd rather be lucky than good anytime. Highly recommended by my (horse specialist) vet.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by chism View Post
                                Last fall a horse who never, EVER leaves the barn came down with strangles. ...
                                All other horses were boostered.
                                Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought that if there was a known case in the barn, you weren't supposed to vaccinate? This might be one of those things that vets have differing opinions on. Or maybe my memory is wrong?!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                  Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought that if there was a known case in the barn, you weren't supposed to vaccinate? This might be one of those things that vets have differing opinions on. Or maybe my memory is wrong?!
                                  Correct, never, ever, ever boost the IN strangles vaccine in the face of an outbreak. You let the situation run it's course then vaccinate at a later date.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Chism- are you in NC?
                                    That happened in this area,too.
                                    Interesting about efficacy of the vaccine in different areas of the country.

                                    It does seem to be a bit of a Catch 22.
                                    The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by flshgordon View Post
                                      That's what I was thinking Simkie!
                                      If your vet told you that a horse is CONTAGIOUS for 2 weeks after receiving the strangles vaccine then your vet is a moron and you should probably look for a new one!
                                      Guess I'm the moron, either for believing this or misquoting whatever the correct facts are.

                                      All I know is several horses got sick (one was a youngster who never left the farm) right after this newly vaccinated horse came in. Seems to me there was something said about residual saliva on the grass being the culprit, since only horses put out in that pasture "got" it. But it was awhile ago and I could easily be mistaken.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        When I talked with my vet about vaccinating for strangles he told me that any horse that was over the age of four had most likely already had strangles and he wouldn't vaccinate....

                                        Since then I have learned about purpura hemorrhagica (which seems just as bad to me) and it scares the socks off me, so I just don't do the strangles "thing". Of course, my horse doesn't go off the farm for any reason and there is only one other horse here that's been here for years....
                                        "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

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