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Re: [RC] vaccines - Susan Garlinghouse

Questions to vets...when we gave our children the >hated DPT vaccine, we
premedicated them with >Tylenol so they'd feel better. I wonder if I should
premedicate the horses with Bute before a vaccine, or >does it decrease
their immunity ( and thus the >effectiveness of the vaccine) by altering the
inflammatory process?

For the most part, you don't want to interfere with the inflammatory process
by pre-medicating with an anti-inflammatory, although in your case, you were
justified in giving them some bute.

In most vaccines (with the exception of some MLV and intranasal, those sort
of guys), the manufacturers add an adjuvant that has no other purpose than
to increase the local inflammatory response.  The point being that if you
create some local swelling, then the vaccine itself is leaked into the blood
at a slower rate than otherwise.  If vaccine is injected all at once, then
you don't get as good an aimmune response, and theoretically, the animal is
not as well protected against the disease.  If the vaccine is semi-walled
off and "leaked" into the system, the immune system has a longer opportunity
to form memory cells, which have no other purpose than to wander around
remembering what this disease looks like should it ever show up again.

That being said, you actually want that local nasty inflammation, at least
to some extent.  In your case, if the horse isn't eating and is obviously
miserable, a little bute or banamine is in order.  I happen to prefer
injecting in the pectoral muscles because they don't seem quite as awful as
a sore neck, but lots of practitioners still prefer the neck.  Exercise to
keep them a little loose is fine.  But, for the most part, you can maybe
pre-med with just a *little* bute (like maybe half a gram), but for the most
part, you want that inflammation to be there.  It's sort of a Big Picture
thing, though it might be tough explaining that to miserable ponies. :-/

Susan Garlinghouse DVM



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