Anaphylactic shock - Page 2

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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

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    10-05-2012, 03:13 AM
Originally Posted by Spotted    
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.
Im not trying to be disrespectful, but it sounds like the person giving the injection was the problem.

Penicillin is thick and does sting going in, but if your horse is healthy, there is a lot of muscle on the neck than can easily be administered without much pain at all.

When I was younger, I was scared to death to give shots, watching my dad do it all the time, and once I got comfortable with it, I wouldnt let anyone else do it besides the vet.
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    10-05-2012, 08:34 AM
Kayella-there needs to be a distinction here so that people understand clearly what happened. There is a HUGE difference here, and many of us are interested in defining that difference so that we can clearly understand and try to avoid future issues.

I have a question......Why, especially in light of issues like this, do we always use the neck for IM in horses? Is it because of nerves or something in the butt? I mean in people we have a couple of options-are there no others in horses?
    10-05-2012, 08:38 AM
That's a really good question, franknbeans - the neck has heaps of blood vessels and is therefore a high risk area. I'd be keen to hear the answer.

Actually, if there's an oral paste/powder available, why even supply DIY penicillin IM kits, especially when you have to keep those refrigerated?
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    10-05-2012, 08:44 AM
Right-if this is such an issue, why not reserve the IM for the vets only? Perhaps that would also curb some of the overuse/abuse?
    10-05-2012, 09:04 AM
Green Broke
Well I watched a pony at my barn get pen shots twice a day for a week or so. Vet put the shot in the neck on the emergency call then after it was put in the butt by the non-vets.

Never heard of the powdered version. But then again I'm allergic to pen so never used it.
    10-05-2012, 09:18 AM
I put this here as a warning as to what can happen when using penicillin. I have personally seen it happen twice, my husband also had it happen. The owners did not do anything wrong, they were following their vets advice. You put the needle in and pull back, if there is no blood, you give the shot. If you have never seen this reaction, be thankful, just be aware that it can happen at any time.
    10-05-2012, 09:22 AM
You can give horses IM injections in the butt or the chest. I don't like doing either, because when you do the butt there is a higher risk of the horse disliking it and kicking you, and in the chest, if it swells, it will pool there and is a pain.
    10-05-2012, 09:26 AM
Green Broke
Well this can happen with any drug, doesn't have to penicillian. My father will go into anaphylactic shock if stung by a bee, this was not what that was. But any drug can cause a reaction, administered correctly or not. An animal or human can also develop a reaction overnight. Once again my father (see why I have health issues) ate almonds for 50 years, then one day it made his throat swell shut. Luckily he was close to a hospital.

This sounds like it hit a vein.
    10-05-2012, 09:28 AM
Green Broke
• When administered properly, penicillin usually does not result in a problem. But care must be to ensure procaine penicillin is always injected intramuscularly. If it is administered into IV or into a vein, it can be dangerous and potentially fatal for your horse. If the drug is accidentally injected into the horse’s bloodstream, the procaine goes directly to the horse’s brain and causes the animal to tremble violently and throw itself over backwards. There is no antidote for this reaction and it is not only dangerous to the horse, it is extremely dangerous for bystanders.

Administering Penicillin | Western Horse Review
    10-05-2012, 11:01 AM
Toni, I am so sorry for your friend's loss and for the trauma to those who had to witness this horrid event. Really tragic and disturbing for those who had to see it. I am a veterinarian and I can tell you of the thousands of times I have used Penicillin, I have only seen anaphylaxis caused by it once or twice. The danger exists, and I would never tell someone on a pack trip to use it for the first time for that reason. I agree with others that what you are describing is certainly not anaphylaxis. I also agree that it is very easy to hit a vessel no matter WHAT part of the horse you put it in. We may never know what really happened and your warning is a good one, however please understand that Penicillin is one tool in our toolbox. It is still there 100 years after it's discovery for a good reason. Yes there are other drugs but not all drugs are the same. We must use the right tool for the right job and sometimes Penicillin is the right tool. I don't want anyone thinking they will never use penicillins just because of this risk. I will also add, importantly, that many many antibiotic hypersensitivity reactions are out there. There are risks with medicine, and every time I prescribe one, I weigh the risks of giving it with the risks of a patient going untreated. Again, I am so sorry for your friend's loss, I could not bear to think of losing my horse in such a terrible way.

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