Does anyone administer rabies vaccinations themselves? - Page 2

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Does anyone administer rabies vaccinations themselves?

This is a discussion on Does anyone administer rabies vaccinations themselves? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    03-01-2013, 11:10 AM
Green Broke
Some states it is illegal to administer Rabies - you can't even buy the vaccine or mail order it because no one will ship it to these states. And most of the other states will not recognize you doing it yourself. Your animal is protected, but if there is ever a question on if the animal is possibly carrying rabies it may be put down if you did the shot yourself where if a vet did it they may end up in quarantine for a time instead. You will have to answer if its worth the risk yourself.

Plus without a vet out how will teeth be checked and floated - or do you have a seperate equine dentist that does that?

To save some cash this year I am thinking of having a vet out to do rabies, coggins, teeth, but then do the other shots myself. They are sometimes twice as much as what I can find online through the vet.
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    03-01-2013, 11:14 AM
Yes, I've given all routine vaccinations to horses, dogs and cats myself. It's not hard, fairly low risk if you know what you're doing and it is much cheaper. Omaha Vaccine and several of the other big retailers will actually send you the rabies tags along with your order. My area has a notable incidence of rabies, I wouldn't consider skipping the vaccine.

However, as everyone has previously noted, it is not accepted as proof of vaccination without being administered by a vet. Also, under pressure I suspect from vets, most catalog and online retailers no longer offer many single shot vaccines - rabies most often comes in 10 dose vial.

Here's how it breaks down for me - it you're ever going to trailer the horse off property to a competition or show, or cross a state line, get the vet to administer the shots. If you have horses that never leave your property and are in a closed herd, go ahead and administer the shots yourself.

The downside to this approach is that you don't have a relationship with the vet, the vet doesn't have the opportunity to do a baseline physical exam and you're not in the vet's account books - much harder to get a vet for an emergency if you don't use one for routine work.

The compromise that works for me is to have the vet out in the spring for their yearly exam, routine shots and to have a Coggins drawn. In the fall, I order the booster shoots and administer those myself.

I also do the rabies and other vaccines on a trio of my geriatric barn cats - it is horrible and deeply traumatic for all concerned to take them to put them in the carrier and take them to the vet clinic, much easier to open a can of tuna and stick them while they're distracted.
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    03-01-2013, 11:14 AM
Green Broke
Ok can someone please show me where it states it is illegal to administer yourself?? I cannot find this information.

Not talking about just not being recognized but actually illegal.
    03-01-2013, 11:19 AM
Just go to any of the online retailers (KVI, Omaha vaccine and Jeffer's for starters). There listings or there shipping information will tell you where they can ship the vaccines.

In the states where it's prohibited, giving vaccines yourself is considered practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

In my state, Virginia, you can buy most of the routine vaccines in a tack and feed store, Southern States and Tractor Supply both carry them.
smrobs likes this.
    03-01-2013, 11:27 AM
Green Broke
Well guess they won't ship to MN lol maybe that's why we have such a rabies problem here but not so much just over the boarder in WI. I can buy every other vaccine in the store though. That seems rather silly to me.
    03-01-2013, 11:32 AM
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Ok can someone please show me where it states it is illegal to administer yourself?? I cannot find this information.

Not talking about just not being recognized but actually illegal.
Legal in the sense that if your horse is bitten or has been exposed to a rabid animal, you have NO recourse if your vet did not administor the vaccination.

For MN

Rabies Program | Minnesota Board of Animal Health

Click on rabies rules .pdf to the right.

Rabies vaccination also has a high incidence of causing clostridial infections.
    03-01-2013, 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Well guess they won't ship to MN lol maybe that's why we have such a rabies problem here but not so much just over the boarder in WI. I can buy every other vaccine in the store though. That seems rather silly to me.
Please explain the rabies problem in Minnesota and not over the border in WI?
    03-01-2013, 11:40 AM
As far as I know, horses are not required by law to have te rabies vaccine like cats and dogs are. So if your state will sell it to you, you can give it to your horse, it won't be illegal, but you won't have any legal proof that your horse got the vaccine. Which is fine unless you need legal proof they got it, like moving your horse across state lines, shows, etc.
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    03-01-2013, 11:41 AM
Green Broke
Oh there's rabies all over but last fall I was talking with an animal control person and Mn does have a pretty high case of rabies. Not sure which of those are wild or domestic. A confirmed case a few months ago in a horse in MN or possibly two horses.

I have my vet give the rabies shot as it's only $18. I'm from WI so this whole needing a vet thing is new. I just find it silly that I can administer all other shots myself just not rabies. And yes I know it's not recognized in states if you give it yourself but really unless were talking cats and dogs and stuff that isn't really a huge deal. Haven't run into a show where you need a rabies vac certificate.

I see threds on here all the time about fluffy the pony biting someone but I don't hear about how the state had to come out and check the rabies certificate.
    03-01-2013, 11:43 AM
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Not illegal to administer yourself but just not recognized. If you keep your horses at home and would really have no need to prove to anyone that it was given there is no reason not to give it yourself.

Dogs and cats are another story.
In NC it is illegal to even possess the vaccine if you are not a vet.
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