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Re: [RC] vaccinations - Anderson, Kristie Lynn

Also, don't forget tetanus. No one thus far has mentioned it, and it's often 
overlooked. Horses are the most sensitive species to tetanus. It's easily 
preventable by vaccination and is usually combined with your encephalitidies 
(the VEWT vaccine), and in unvaccinated animals is often fatal. On the system I 
just checked, 6 horses of 21 diagnosed with tetanus survived, and that's with 
intensive care and a lot of $$. 

I think the idea of spreading out vaccines is a very good one, but rather than 
doing them a week apart, perhaps giving 2 weeks or more between vaccines. That 
way, you can find your "problem child", and your reaction will likely not be as 
severe when that is the only vaccine on board. Switching the brand of vaccine 
is also a good idea, and may eliminate your problem.

If you find that the problem vaccine is flu, rhino, or strangles (if you use 
any of these) - these are rarely fatal - you can assess the horse's risk and 
determine if these are even necessary. If it's one of the other vaccines - 
Venezuelan/Eastern/Western, Tetanus, West Nile, Rabies, and Potomic (if you're 
in an endemic area) - I would reccommend trying a different brand rather than 
discontinuing that vaccine. Apologies, but i know absolutely nothing about the 
quality of the Potomic vaccine, as we don't have it here. 

Some areas don't have the rabies problems that we do, so depending on your 
area, it may be ok to do without. Around here, it's just unwise. Actually saw a 
horse today who had no vaccination history and was in the process of being 
tested for rabies.

Another thing that no one has mentioned is titers. It's becoming more common in 
the small animal world, and I don't see why they can't do it in horses, but for 
some of the diseases that you really want to keep the horse protected (tetanus, 
rabies if you live in TX, etc), and you find that the horse is having a 
reaction to that vaccine, you can run titers and only vaccinate when the titer 
drops below a certain level. It's not cheap, but is an option nonetheless. 
Problem is, since it isn't done frequently (although I think they do run titers 
on horses being exported), there may not be a good line that can be drawn, 
where you can say "at this level or higher, this horse should be well 

Just some thoughts.

Kris (DVM in <2 months!)


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