Potomac Fever vaccine - anyone?

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Potomac Fever vaccine - anyone?

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  • Potomac vaccination for horses
  • How often to vacinate for potmac horse fever

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    02-01-2010, 05:06 PM
Potomac Fever vaccine - anyone?

I used to give it, but the show barn I took Jemma to doesn't give it to their horses (they do everything else though including West Nile besides the strangles). So my question is how useful is it?
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    02-01-2010, 05:19 PM
I'd like to know as well. The last three vets I've used recommend not giving it anymore.
    02-01-2010, 05:24 PM
I was told to give it when I moved to harrisburg for school. The susquahannah was literly a mile from the barn.

Most of the vaccines I give are to help me feel better at night. Just because a horse is vaccinated doesnt mean they will never contract the said infection.
    02-01-2010, 06:31 PM
My vet told me I needed to give it. If for no other reason, as a precaution because I trail ride different places.
    02-01-2010, 06:42 PM
Green Broke
Just because a horse is vaccinated doesnt mean they will never contract the said infection.

This is correct. My arab mare, Stella, contracted PHF last summer despite being vaccinated. My vet recommends it because it's common in our area. In fact, he was treating three other cases in my immediate area and he told me AFTER the fact that he usually vaccinates his own horses with three subsequent vaccines in May, June and July. I'll be doing that this year.
Stella has Potomac
    02-01-2010, 09:22 PM

The Vaccine does NOT prevent the infection if it comes around your barn, but it will minimize it.

Pat Fever KILLS, plain and simple. If your horse does not get the vaccine, your horse can possibly die from the P Fever if it hits. With the vaccine, it doesn't prevent the P Fever, but it minimizes it very much so, that with Vet care, your horse will survive.

Every Spring Nelson gets every vaccine out there, and the P is one of them. When I moved Nelson to a very large Hunter/Jumper barn, where horses come and go on a regular basis for shows, lessons, clinics, horses being hauled out as well - the P Fever can happen.

Within a few weeks of being there, Nelson got P Fever - but it was minimized due, thankfully, to he getting the vaccine. My Vet said, if he wasn't vaccinated, he would of died.

He got a fever up to 103.9 *somewhere around there, definitely 103.?* and was very sick. When I noticed his symptoms, my vet rushed out and took care of him. He was on 3 days of very high doses of antibiodics - and he looked aweful.

Now think of where he would of been, if he didn't get the vaccine.

P Vaccination is VERY IMPORTANT! Not only the P Vaccine in the spring, but you should get a booster as well - especially if you are in a barn where horses come and go on a regular basis, and if you are in an area where P Fever outbreaks occur.

P Vaccination does not pevent your horse from getting it, it just minimizes the effect. Just like us getting the Flu Shot. Doesn't prevent the Flu from hitting, it just minimizes it.
    02-01-2010, 10:01 PM
Super Moderator
Alot of places don't give it unless there is a breakout in the area. I live on the Potomac River so I get it twice a year. Anyone that lives near a river or a large body of water should get it is my opinion. It actually comes from a parasite that is found in snails, dragonflies, mayflies and other water-type bugs that are in marshy areas...
    02-02-2010, 10:06 AM
PHF vaccine is a risk-based vaccine and is given if a horse is kept in one of the geographic locations where PHF is a possibility. This means close to waterways in certain areas of the country. So, contact a LOCAL vet and see if he recommends that vaccine for horses in your area. Be sure to tell him if you travel at all to trail ride and what areas you travel to as this will affect the recommendations.
    02-02-2010, 12:03 PM
Thanks, folks!

I use 2 vets: one says it's unimportant, didn't ask other one. I have a little stream down the property, but that's pretty much it. Potomac river is really far from us. :) I think I'll do more research on that.
    02-02-2010, 12:18 PM
Super Moderator
In MD, I personally would get it. But like I said, tons of people will wait until there is a breakout and then get it. I actually have a creek running through my property that runs into the river so just to be safe, I get it.

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