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Swelling after spring shots - should I be worried?

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  • Swelling after spring shots - should I be worried?

    My vet came out on Tuesday to do spring shots. On my mustang he did one shot in the chest and the other in the butt. I don't know why he did one in the chest, since he did the other two horses both in the butt. Anyway, he said the horse might have some swelling there, which he does now. It is warm and there's a lump and I've got a call into him but in the meantime, should I be worried? Horse is out 24/7 so does get a chance to move around and I walked him today and he seemed to work out of his stiffness....

    I've never had a horse react to shots before!
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

  • #2
    As long as it's not impeding him in any way, I wouldn't worry. I would note brand and speak with your vet about possible alternative for next year.

    And by impeding him...does he do all his stuff as usual? Eat, drink, poop, play? Does he look poor at all?

    I hd a mare that reacted so badly that she couldn't lower her head to eat and got very withdrawn and depressed. We're still playing around with what will work for her, and she gets banamine with her vaccines.


    • Original Poster

      He's not otherwise affected. He's eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, hanging with his buddies. The swelling is warm to the touch and a bit sensitive. He strides a bit shorter with that leg (LF), but when I walked him today he seemed to work out of the stiffness. I'm not sure why the vet gave it in his chest and he did it before I even knew what was happening (I think because I told him that the horse wasn't great for his last round of shots, done by another vet). His hind end has no reaction at all. I'm thinking he must have moved or tensed up when the needle went in.
      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


      • #4
        My ponies both had significant lump reactions to their shots this year, which has not happened before. The first pony was extremely upset & needlephobic, so I attributed the issue to her being tense and jumpy (to the point where we weren't able to administer the last vaccine. The second pony was also somewhat tense after watching his buddy freak out.

        Interestingly, on the first pony where the needle went in but no vaccine was administered, no reaction there.

        Pony #2 still had a thick coat and heavy mane, so I didn't notice the lumps; what I noticed was that he was extremely short on a front leg. That's when I found the lumps (which were all in the neck) from the vaccine sites. Pony #2 is completely resolved, sound and no lumps.

        Pony #1 had a pretty big lump on her neck with a second smaller lump. However, she was bright and acting fine and was not sensitive to it. The larger lump has shrunk substantially, but is definitely still visible a month later. It seems clear to me it will take care of itself at this point.

        I called the vet and she had me administer bute. It definitely helped them.

        I would say that you should call your vet and that bute is probably in order, and that it will probably be OK.

        Curious that so many people are reporting reactions this year. I can't recall seeing this many threads in the past. However, with my Pony #1 especially, it could have just been physical trauma from her shenanigans.
        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


        • #5
          Cold hosing can help with the swelling - the force of the water stream can help dissipate the fluid. Ask the vet about a little bute (and add ranitidine to his feed).

          Otherwise, better a reaction in the chest than the neck My vets give all shots in the chest now, unless something precludes doing that.

          You can use this info for the next time shots are given - ask about preventive bute, or take the horse right out for a light ride asap after the shots.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            My mare had a vaccination reaction about a month ago to a Ft Dodge 6-way (will never use Ft Dodge or a 6-waqy again!). She had hot swelling at the site 24 hours after the vaccination and was running a 104.2 temp. A vet call, IV Banamine, 3 days of Bute and 3 days of Gastroguard (and $400) we we were good but she didn't feel good for a couple of days. My gelding got the same shot but never spiked a temp but he didn't feel well.

            A question: do vets still give shots in the butt? I thought that practice had gone by the wayside.
            "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


            • #7
              So so many complaints about FD vaccines

              No shots should ever be given in the butt, IF by "butt" you mean the top of the rump. Drainage sucks.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                I suspect that by "the butt" she may mean the meaty long narrow muscles on either side of the tail.

                If so, there is no reason not to use those muscles, except that some vets are, understandably reluctant to get behind the firing line. Since it is a muscle in active use, any swelling there usually resolves easily. Injections shouldn't be given at the top of the rump, above the tail head.

                In any case, it's a good idea to let your vet know that the swelling has occurred.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #9
                  It happens to a couple of horses each time at my barn. Hope things get back to normal soon.