Anaphylactic shock
 
 

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Anaphylactic shock

This is a discussion on Anaphylactic shock within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Anaphalactic reaction to amoicillin inability to breaathe
  • Equine anaphylaxis

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    10-04-2012, 11:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Anaphylactic shock

Went camping this week with friends. One horse had a cough and the owners vet told her to give him penicillin. I have seen a horse have a severe reaction after a penicillin injection had been given and will not give any horse that drug just for that reason. We actually discussed this and she was just doing what the vet had advised her to do.

When we go camp with our horses we use electric tape for corrals and none of our horses ever bother the fence. I was in my trailer and heard someone yelling for help. She had gave him the shot and he dropped and started thrashing, there was no safe way to control him although one lady tried to hold his head as he has a halter and lead rope on. He started flipping over the fencing and got tangled up in it. He pulled down his corral and 2 more corrals near him. Then he got up with hotwire tape wrapped around him and run off thru the woods. His buddy went with him and two other horses got out and ran to the highway.

The owner and I went to find him and his buddy while others went to get the other horses that had got out. When we found him, like 10 minutes later, he did not have any of the tape left on him, but his back leg was broke.

We were out away from any city, but after many calls to every vet within a 50 mile radius, we finally got a vet out to euthanize him. It was a very tragic event and instilled in me even further to never ever give any horse penicillin. She always pulled back on the syringe to check for blood as did my other friend who was a vet tech when her horse had the same reaction, although her pony survived and was not injured.

There are so many better drugs these days to use that no one should ever take a chance of having this happen. He was a very gentle, kind horse and it was just tragic what happened. Thank goodness the other 2 horses were caught on the highway and we didn't have another horrible incident.
     
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    10-04-2012, 11:34 PM
  #2
Yearling
Maybe I'm stupid and horses work very differently than humans, but that doesn't sound like anaphylactic shock. I couldn't imagine running around with my airways clamping down, even if I was scared to high hell.
     
    10-04-2012, 11:41 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Bay    
Maybe I'm stupid and horses work very differently than humans, but that doesn't sound like anaphylactic shock. I couldn't imagine running around with my airways clamping down, even if I was scared to high hell.
I tend to agree,sounds like he flipped out over the injection & as result got himself caught up, was in a panic & end result of an life threatening injury from his freak out!
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    10-04-2012, 11:42 PM
  #4
Started
Agree with Reno, doesn't sound like anaphylactic shock to me - that involves collapse, swelling and inability to breathe. Sounds like your friend accidentally injected into the vein - it only takes a nick. Pulling no blood isn't always a sign that a needle hasn't hit the vein.

I've seen milder reactions to penicillin (lots of swelling in the neck area) but if it was advised by my vet I'd have no qualms about giving it. Would be a bit nervous the first time but if the horse is fine then it won't have any difficulty in the future. There's a powder version of penicillin that's syringed orally - I'd go with that. Too much can go wrong when doing intramuscular injections if you haven't been practiced at it.

ETA: Did some searching of the internet and other forums - seems this isn't as rare as one would hope, and is generally thought to result when the dose is accidentally injected into the vein. A dose of penicillin formula (not designed for IV) causes seizures due to the procaine content. From a Canadian Government website:

Quote:
Penicillin is very commonly administered to horses in a formulation known as penicillin procaine G. The procaine is a local anesthetic, related to lidocaine, novacaine and cocaine! It helps to give the formulation a long-acting effect, so that it can be administered only twice a day. When correctly injected into the horse's muscle, it causes no problem. However, if the formulation is accidentally injected into the horse's bloodstream, the procaine goes to the horse's brain and triggers a spectacular reaction (imagine a horse getting a "hit" of cocaine). Most horses begin to tremble violently and throw themselves over backwards. There is no antidote when this occurs and an affected horse will recover in just a few minutes as long as it doesn't damage its skull or spine. Obviously, this reaction can be very dangerous for bystanders. This is why when injecting penicillin into a horse's neck or hindquarters, you should always place the needle first, and watch for blood to fill the hub of the needle. If you see blood, remove the needle and place a clean needle in another site. When you attach the syringe full of penicillin, pull back and again watch for blood to appear in the syringe. Never follow through with the injection if you see blood. Also, the procaine in the formulation becomes more soluble at higher temperatures, increasing the risk of it entering a blood vessel. Therefore, penicillin procaine G should always be kept refrigerated until just before injecting. Very rarely, penicillin can cause the horse to destroy its own red blood cells and the horse shows signs of severe anemia. This reaction usually resolves by stopping the penicillin therapy and giving supportive care.
- http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/hrs3718
     
    10-04-2012, 11:43 PM
  #5
Yearling
I have had 2 horses that were given pen and never had any issues. It is painful for them, I actually had one growl believe it or not and try and bite the person giving it. That horse still hates the person who gave it to him.
     
    10-04-2012, 11:45 PM
  #6
Foal
“Anaphylactic shock”

Anaphylactic Shock is an acute hypersensitivity reaction. It develops in a horse after being exposed to an allergen that it is highly sensitive to. Penicillin antibiotics, vaccines, and immune serums are allergens most frequently involved in anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is generalized (systemic) or localized. A localized reaction, such as an insect bite can consist solely of itching and swelling around bite site. With systemic reactions, the symptoms become generalized, often appearing elsewhere on the body. A severe systemic anaphylactic reaction is accompanied by sweating, anxiety, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, shock, a drop in blood pressure, collapse and death. Signs are produced by histamine and other vasoactive substances which are released by basophil and mast cells in response to the allergen.

Early recognition is essential to treatment of anaphylactic shock. Difficulty breathing and sudden anxiety following a vaccination or administration of a drug are indications to treat.
     
    10-04-2012, 11:50 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonipony    
“Anaphylactic shock”

Anaphylactic Shock is an acute hypersensitivity reaction. It develops in a horse after being exposed to an allergen that it is highly sensitive to. Penicillin antibiotics, vaccines, and immune serums are allergens most frequently involved in anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is generalized (systemic) or localized. A localized reaction, such as an insect bite can consist solely of itching and swelling around bite site. With systemic reactions, the symptoms become generalized, often appearing elsewhere on the body. A severe systemic anaphylactic reaction is accompanied by sweating, anxiety, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, shock, a drop in blood pressure, collapse and death. Signs are produced by histamine and other vasoactive substances which are released by basophil and mast cells in response to the allergen.

Early recognition is essential to treatment of anaphylactic shock. Difficulty breathing and sudden anxiety following a vaccination or administration of a drug are indications to treat.
Yep, that's anaphylactic shock - but what you described wasn't that. The horse threw itself over, it didn't collapse from an inability to breathe (or it wouldn't have been running around crazy straight afterward).
     
    10-05-2012, 02:07 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Really? A horse died and y'all are arguing over the misuse of a term.

I'm sorry to hear about the horse. That's why I'm terrified to give shots to my horses in fear of accidentally striking a vein. I've done it to my pig. :/
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    10-05-2012, 02:12 AM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayella    
Really? A horse died and y'all are arguing over the misuse of a term.

I'm sorry to hear about the horse. That's why I'm terrified to give shots to my horses in fear of accidentally striking a vein. I've done it to my pig. :/
Posted via Mobile Device
We're not arguing over the misuse of a term, we (or at least this is my aim, don't want to speak for others) are trying to ensure that there is no misunderstanding of what happened. We don't want people running away with the idea that penicillin is crazy-dangerous because it isn't to non-allergic horses, unless there is an accident with administration and only then with the intramuscular version - the IV and oral doses are safe (IV obviously for vets only), and the dangerous ingredient isn't the penicillin but the procaine.
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    10-05-2012, 03:10 AM
  #10
Foal
Im not a big fan of the overusage of penicillin.
Some vets, and a lot of owners think "cough, hmmm, time for penicillin"

In most cases I've found that if a horse is just coughing, its usually from dust and the owner needs to remove the dust, such as a round bale of hay in the barn.
I usually only give my horses a shot of penicillin once a year or twice at most.

Owners always overreact to their horses because of love for their horse.
Horses get sick just like people do, and sometimes, quite frankly, just don't feel good.
99% of the time, they'll get over it on there own, just like we do without antibiotics.
     

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