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Colic as a Vaccine reaction?

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  • Colic as a Vaccine reaction?

    Has anyone here experienced their horse colic after receiving a regular vaccination? If so, what kind was given and does horse have any metabolic issues?

  • #2
    My Shetland had a mild spasmodic colic when I did a big series of vaccinations soon after I bought her. She was pregnant at the time (about 5 months) and I wasn't sure if she'd had any vaccines, so I got her "caught up" with a series of 4 or 5. Well, several hours later she was feeling NQR and just looked down and droopy. We gave her a little banamine and my vet proclaimed "she will get up and start eating in 20 minutes", which she did, right on cue. Right as rain ever since, with no further troubles and a healthy foal. Now I split her shots up, although I've never had to do so with the big horses. She is probably borderline IR: a prone-to-being-chubby, cresty critter, but I watch what she eats and she's A-OK otherwise.

    ETA it was typical "fall shots" so IIRC rhino/flu, strangles, tetanus, and PHF. Usually I save the encephalitis series for spring/summer, but may have added that one on as well since the mare was pregnant and I didn't know if she'd had any vaccines.
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    • #3
      YES! I have seen horses colic after vaccination a number of times! They were healthy event horses with no known metabolic issues. They received multiple vaccinations at once (bad!)
      I vaccinate on a very conservative schedule now, with shots spaced way out, and watch a horse closely for 48 hours after vaccination for colic. I dose up on probiotics and allow 24/7 turnout and give them homeopathic Thuja for a few days.


      • #4
        My tbred colics after vaccines. Banamine stopped working after the 3rd yr- might have been the second yr, so long ago. She no longer is vaccinated.
        She reacts to meds and some wormers too along with otehr stuff, shes a PITA.
        Back then..I do not think she had any metabolic issues, even though I would not have been aware of them. She is an older girl now, and I am thinking of having her tested for any and all the vet might think is necessary, specifically cushings at a spring check-up.

        Had a donkey that was allergic to vaccines. He would get the lumps all over his body, but not colic. On hind sight I bet he had metabolic issues, he had fat lumps all over and a shaggy coat. I used to shave him in the summer. That was a long time ago too.


        • Original Poster

          Anyone else?


          • #6

            Can't say it won't ever happen, but I vaccinate at least 25 head a month (for the past 7 years) and haven't had one colic (knocking on wood) in relation to a vaccine. Add to that vaccinating three to eight head a year for 35+ years prior to that, without problems.

            The only colic I have ever had in relation to an injection of any kind was one horse that colicked after receiving an injectible Ivermectin back around '82-'83. (It was pulled from the market not long after that, for that reason, among others). She colicked within 20-25 minutes of the vaccine. Vet was still on the property.

            Just my own experience, for whatever it's worth - or not
            Last edited by tma; Dec. 29, 2008, 12:03 PM.


            • #7
              Additional followup on my earlier post:

              I often give all vaccines at once. (Although not all given in the same place - I may give a five way, for example in the left hindquarter, and the WNV in the left side of the neck).

              Two of my "victims" are confirmed Cushings horses (one of those ID'd eight years ago) and a couple are known to be IR (not Cushings).

              No problems with them.

              Again, just my own experience.


              • #8
                My 10 month old colicked about 36 hours after receiving her vaccinations. There is no way to tell if it was related or not but I am going to keep a close eye on her for a few days after vaccinating from here on out just in case. Luckily it was just gas and resolved within hours but it was still a $275 emergency vet bill.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • #9
                  Yes, the happened to a guy that used to board with me. The vet came out in the morning and gave shots (a number of different vaccines) to this guy's three horses, and in a couple of hours his mare was in distress. The guy called the vet back and she had told her receptionist she was not to be disturbed under any circumstances (she was riding) . Luckily another vet was located, mare was treated and she turned out to be okay. (Of course, the first vet lost a client with several horses, but what the hay! She got her ride in! ) That's worth losing a client, right????

                  The mare had no known metabolic issues.
                  "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~


                  • #10
                    Nope and I've boarded at many large show barns over the years (30-70 horses) and all horses were vaccinated for everything on the same day. Sore necks for a few days, sure, but no colics.

                    The only colic I've ever seen as the direct result of veterinary treatment was after a horse was given atropine eye ointment for a large corneal ulcer with pin prick pupils. There were two emergency vet calls that day, one for the eye problem and a few hours later for a significant colic. I later learned colic is a known possibility anytime atropine is administered. Funny, the vet never mentioned THAT!


                    • #11
                      BTR, what are your thoughts behind posing this question? Not being snarky, it just might be easy to answer if we know what it is that you're driving at.

                      My TB had a colic reaction to his AHS I injection this year. He's been innoculated since he was a foal, and has just turned ten, and this is the first time we've seen a reaction. It was a mild gas colic and he was right as rain the next day.

                      He didn't react to AHS II, given a couple of months later, but I made sure that the innoculation was given in the morning, in case.


                      • #12
                        My mare colics when she receives the West Nile vaccination.

                        The first time she got the vaccine.. the first time it was ever given, she had a mild spasmodic colic about 2 hours after receiving the injection. Gave her same banamine, and she was fine. Didn't connect the dots at that point. Second vaccine, same thing.

                        She now gets a shot of banamine before the West Nile vaccine and does fine. It's too important a vaccine to skip.
                        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
                          My mare colics when she receives the West Nile vaccination.

                          FindersKeepers - which WNV vaccine did she react to? Just curious.


                          • #14
                            Laurierace - was she by chance, also wormed at or around that time?

                            Again, just curious.

                            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                            My 10 month old colicked about 36 hours after receiving her vaccinations.


                            • #15
                              My 17 year old POA gelding coliced two years ago after getting a flu/rhino shot. I'm not sure if it was because of the vaccine or the incredibly sore, inflexible neck that he developed from it. He could not lower his head to eat or drink and he's a big drinker. This year he got bute the day of the shot & next day & we had no problems.
                              "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                              • Original Poster

                                BTR, what are your thoughts behind posing this question? Not being snarky, it just might be easy to answer if we know what it is that you're driving at.
                                To raise awareness and be more cautious with vaccinations, especially if one already has a colic prone horse.

                                I generally caution all of my clients to be careful with vaccinations, how they are given, manufacturer used, etc., because I have seen or heard of horses react. Some colic, others may get laminitis.

                                I was more familiar with the laminitis connection, not so much with the colic one, which seems to be rather too frequent also, from what I see here, enough to recommend to anyone to space the vaccinations apart and use vaccines that are known to cause less reactions, like the ones from Intervet for example.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by tma View Post
                                  Laurierace - was she by chance, also wormed at or around that time?

                                  Again, just curious.
                                  No. I even split the vaccines, she still needs the last one.
                                  McDowell Racing Stables

                                  Home Away From Home


                                  • #18
                                    I generally caution all of my clients to be careful with vaccinations, how they are given, manufacturer used, etc., because I have seen or heard of horses react. Some colic, others may get laminitis.
                                    And hopefully you counter this veterinary advice with a careful consideration of the benefits of vaccination, also, and share that with your clients. Because undoubtedly you've seen or heard of horses getting preventable illnesses from going unvaccinated, too. Medicine is a real pain when one has to weigh the pros AND the cons.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Of course I do, but I think it is also pretty obvious that we tend to over vaccinate our critters. I personally only vaccinate for what is absolute necessary, I space the vaccinations apart, plus I wait 3 - 4 years before vaccinating again, except for tetanus, which I do yearly.

                                      After all humans do not get vaccinate every year either, except maybe for the flu, so why do animals have to be?? Just because we do not have research in this area that would show how long the antibodies are effective? Baloney. They work long in humans, why should that not be true in critters? After consultation with my holistic vet, I also no longer vaccinate , if a horse, or other critter, is over 10 years old. I know of over 20 horses who have never been vaccinated in over 10 years and they have never had any serious illness because of it. Neither are wild or feral horses!


                                      • #20
                                        Well, humans aren't exposed to the same diseases as horses are, for one thing, nor at the same rates. Most of the things we tend to get vaccinated for are childhood illnesses. And we outgrow childhood. Horses never outgrow being horses. The average kid is vaccinated a lot, because that's when they're vulnerable. Horses are always vulnerable.

                                        Thanks in large part to intensive vaccination, the diseases that used to kill our kiddies are, if not eradicated, then VERY RARE. Vaccines have been at work for decades now, and today's children are reaping the benefits: no dying of meningitis, epiglottitis, etc. except very, very rarely now. These diseases are preventable.

                                        As to the things that adults need, we have incredibly effective vaccines that do indeed confer long-term if not lifelong immunity (hepatitis B, etc.) but many things still need boosters every year (influenza) because of constant mutation of the virus and also things like tetanus for high-risk individuals need to be boostered WAY more often than they actually are.

                                        I know of over 20 horses who have never been vaccinated in over 10 years and they have never had any serious illness because of it. Neither are wild or feral horses!
                                        There are plenty of kids in third-world countries who are never vaccinated, either. They die of measles, polio, etc. at a horrific rate. Sure, many of them don't. Lucky kids.
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