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Yearly Shots..give them yourself or by the vet?

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  • Yearly Shots..give them yourself or by the vet?

    Okay with the economy and everything money is really tight and we have several horses. We are coming to that time of year when we give all our guys their yearly shots and coggins. A couple of barns in the area seems to actually give the shots themselves and just call the vet for the coggins...

    Does anyone else do this? I have given many shots before to horses so know the areas in which to give them, and buying them and administering them myself would save us so much money. Also is this allowed? I know I can't give me dog her own vaccines becasue I need vet proof for her tags...but what about horses?
    Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
    Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook

  • #2
    From the vet. Every time. Though we do divide the shots and the vet will often leave us with set 2 to give ourselves saving a barn visit. I consider this their annual check up. The vet knows us, knows the horses, we can discuss any concerns, check on any oddities etc. Fortunately (looks for wood and starts knocking now) we don't typically need to see them other than for shots and the occasional health certificate.


    • #3
      I have them come out and do one or two shots, then I usually convince them to leave the rest with me and I gradually give them to him-- mosquito related shots first, then tetnus, etc. I just need to spread them out for him instead of doing it all at once.
      That way, they see him, and I save myself a second farm call.


      • #4
        maybe it'd be good to find that chart of where to do shots somewhere on the web.. every year I have to rremind myself if I haven't done shots in a while..


        • Original Poster

          Our vet came out about 3 mths ago for a floating and took a good look at everyone and they were all healthy and we have no issues with anyone at the moment...we are planning to vaccinate everyone early March/late Feb. That is why I was thinking doing them myself.
          Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
          Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
          Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
          Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


          • #6
            A majority of them are given at my horses' spring check-up and Coggins draw, with a few left for me to give a week or two later. In the fall I have their teeth checked and floated, so that's the opportunity for the fall shots. I keep tetanus toxoid/antitoxin on hand just in case for in between owies.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              I give all my own shots and have for years. I order from allivet.com, valleyvet.com and heartland.com...depending on what I need and who has better shipping at the time.

              I save tons of money doing it myself, there's no way I'll go back to paying close to $250/horse every vaccine cycle plus this way I can space them out and give them time to adjust. The only one I consistently have trouble tracking down is the strangles IN (Pinnacle) b/c it only seems to be sold in lots of 10 doses. I also do all my dogs vaccines except the three year rabies for their tags.


              • #8
                Vet gives them, for three simple reasons:

                1. I only have one horse. I might, and probably would, feel differently if I had multiple horses and was absorbing the markup many times over.

                2. My vet is the best lameness vet in the area short of going to the big vet school 1.5 hours down the road. I would like to have his undivided and expedient attention if I ever have a non-routine problem. Giving him my shots business helps keep me on his Nice List, which might explain why when I called his clinic today at 9:15 a.m. asking for an appointment for a swollen leg and specifically said that I just needed to see him "sometime in the next few days", he walked into my barn one hour later, happily squeezing me in between two other appointments. Keep in mind that I haven't seen him since April '08 when he last did my shots, and in three years this is the first time I've called him for anything other than the horse's PPE two years ago, shots, or Coggins. To me, that is worth every penny that I paid in Obnoxious Vaccine Markup Costs.

                3. I do not feel psychologically or physically equipped to administer the epinephrine in the case of an unexpected reaction. I hear that some folks compromise by giving their own shots while the vet is out pulling Coggins, but I figure if my vet has to give the West Nile vaccine for insurance purposes and rabies for record purposes that I might as well just let him shoot all the others too.
                Last edited by jn4jenny; Jan. 19, 2009, 10:11 PM.
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                • #9
                  I have the vet do this twice yearly. The horses gets a good physical and dental check with each appointment. It helps to keep us on track to keeping them healthy, and catch some problems early.
                  "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                  • #10
                    Also... if there is a rabies issue... your having given a rabies shot "doesn't count". Has to be done by a vet and you have to have a certificate from a vet - at least in NJ

                    We actually try to do the mosquito shots later rather than earlier, but then in our area Mosquitoes are more of an issue later in the summer / fall than spring.


                    • #11
                      My early horse experience included a vet who didn't want to do a damn thing with horses and would have been offended to be called out for something as stupid as giving shots. He figured anybody that couldn't do most of their own simple vet work for their own horses shouldn't have horses.

                      But that's a cow vet. He's used to cow people doing a lot of their own stuff and he didn't figure horse people had any right to consider themselves "special".

                      I don't think having a vet out once a year for shots does anything in the "they know the horse" department. My neighbor's vet is out twice a year for shots and usually once or twice a year for miscellaneous stuff. This has been going on for three or four years. Vet has EVERY SINGLE TIME had to ask the horse's names and does, to this day, not remember which are mares and which are geldings. Even though he's had one of the mares at his clinic TWICE for a month at a time. Still calls her "he" and "this guy", even though one of the trips was for a uterine infection.


                      • #12
                        The "show" horse gets visited 3-times a year for vaccines (fall and twice in spring/early summer), he also gets a lyme titre done then.

                        The broodmares get their coggins/rabies with the vet, but I'll do everything else on my own...makes very little sense for me to spend thousands on visits for vaccines, particularly when I spend so much time with the vet during breeding season...they are well aware of my horses health and so administering vaccines myself isn't a big deal.

                        But with all of my horses, I think it's important to note that I have a good working-relationship with both of my vets (repro and lameness).


                        • #13
                          I've always given vacinations myself to about 100 head of horses and cattle a year. Saves a huge amount of money.
                          Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drive NJ View Post
                            From the vet. Every time. Though we do divide the shots and the vet will often leave us with set 2 to give ourselves saving a barn visit. I consider this their annual check up. The vet knows us, knows the horses, we can discuss any concerns, check on any oddities etc. Fortunately (looks for wood and starts knocking now) we don't typically need to see them other than for shots and the occasional health certificate.
                            Finding wood to knock also...we do the same. Plus, Rabies, in MD can only be obtained by a Vet.
                            <\ <\,,
                            The delicate and exquisite horse is itself a work of art.


                            • #15
                              Prefer to give my own...buuuuuut...now I have a vet who is so incredibly reasonable that it would only be saving a few $$ that I would rather pay her, given how responsive, kind, attentive, and awesome she is!

                              I am happy to have my vet out and have a relationship w/her in a case like this. If the vet charged more than $150 for shots (over $80 more than mine, but the typical I have paid), you bet I would give my own again.


                              • #16
                                My vet is very well known, liked, and respected, and is fine with me doing some of my own shots. He even gave me his oppinion on the different brands, etc. I do save enough money doing some myself to make it worth the while. My vet always does my horses' coggins, rabies - must be done by vet in most states, west nile - our area has tested positive, and strangles - seems there is always an outbreak near us and the vet said the intranasal is much more effective than the shot. I do the six-way (or 4 or 5 way), potomic, and botulism myself. Most vets get their meds from the same companies we can get them from. You just need to follow storage and injection directions.

                                My horse had an issue a while back and came out the next day. Doing my own shots made me more comfortable giving my horse intramuscular meds she needed for her issue. Most of the boarders at my barn do their own shots and use this vet. Everyone likes him and no one has had any issues with him "jipping" us because we do some of our own shots. He knows us and recognizes our horses everytime.

                                It seems to me that the shots issue differs with each vet. Another vet in the area suggests that people do some of their own shots IF they have the knowledge and are comfortable doing so. Frankly, I would talk to your vet and ask him how he feels about this topic and see what he suggests. I did, and I am glad that I can be open with my vet.


                                • #17
                                  My friends and I have done our own for years and years now, but since between us we have over 50 head of horses, it saves a ton of money. And we go in together on orders to get free shipping.

                                  We have known our vet since before he went to vet school and he's been a family friend. He trusts us the relationship was established long ago. We were tickled he decided to stay in our area so he could be our vet. He has a partner, too, and she's really great also.

                                  S/he come out for other things like repro, teeth, coggins/health papers or any emergency or illness that might come up that we know we can't deal w/. My friends also have cattle so he's there for them, too.
                                  A Merrick N Dream Farm
                                  Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                                  • #18
                                    My vet does them.


                                    • #19
                                      I have given my horse's vaccines for years. I still have routine stuff done like coggins, teeth and hock injections. I also purchase and keep on hand some drugs like ace and bute. So I have no problem getting a vet out from the clinic.


                                      • #20
                                        I do the 5 way shots myself. Now that you can buy the west nile shot over the counter I do them as well along with worming and so on.
                                        We still have to have the vet come and do coggins and teeth but you will save money by giving your own shots.
                                        I buy most of my stuff from Jeffers because it is close enough for me to run over and pick it up. I have to ship in my west nile and I want to think it comes from United equine.