Reaction to Vaccinations - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By jaydee
  • 1 Post By HeroMyOttb
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Reaction to Vaccinations

After a long wait I'm finally home from college for the summer and can be with my horse!! I was so excited to be able to get Hero back into work and get our relationship back to normal. But we always seem to take a step back instead of a step forward. On monday Hero got his vaccinations the same vaccines that he has been given since I owned him which has been about 4 years.

The vet came out to give Hero his vaccinations in the morning, just the same ole routine. He was completely fine in the evening. Then the next day Hero was very stiff and running a fever. Still had an appetite but had trouble bending his neck. His muscles seemed to be locking up and spazzing out. Then finally he started to get hives on his neck. Called the vet to say Hero was having a bad reaction to the vaccines. The vet came out and gave him a steroid and bute. Vet said he should bounce back pretty quickly. Hero has never had a reaction to his vaccinations but for who ever has deal with this, did your horse bounce back quickly?? Or had more problems?

Chad Barnes 6-16-85~7-22-13
Hero Act - Thoroughbred Gelding ~ Gunner - Quarter Horse Gelding ~ John Deere - Mini Gelding
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Most vaccination reactions last between 24 and 48 hours. I really don't remember any lasting any longer than that,(although there are always exceptions to the rules). You might ask your vet if he switched brands of vaccines this year from what has been used in previous years, it might explain the reaction. I personally used to own a horse that would spike a fever and get a swollen neck within 2-3 hours of receiving any vaccine, didn't matter for what. Some horses are just more sensitive.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 10:51 AM
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One of mine had a reaction to his 5 way this year. The injection site swelled up and he was super tender there. He also had a hard time reaching the ground to graze. It started like you said, about 24 hours later. But....the swelling only lasted about 4 days and he actually was able to graze OK again within a day after the swelling started. Might want to change either the injection site or vaccination manufacturer or both next time. It's not uncommon for them to have a reaction like this but it could be the beginnings to a heavier reaction next time. Hero should be fine though. :)
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 10:54 AM
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My friend's horse had a similar reaction last summer. Only lasted 2 days and the vet just reccomended cold hosing and a little bute. Many people just leave it, though, unless it persists.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 02:52 PM
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My mare reacts to her vaccines. Last year it was so bad she could not eat or drink because her throat swelled up.

Always let the vet administer shots. Since she is allergic there is always the risk of shock.

What we did this year was to use a different vaccine manufacturer, and instead of injecting the neck we injected her in the pectoral muscles in the chest. I buted her for 2 days before the injection, and the morning of the injection I gave her 8 benadryl, then injected her about 2 hours later. She had no reaction at all this year.

I injected my other horse in the chest as well, and guess what? She had swelling. She had a pouch hanging where the fluid was (but not hot or painful on palpation). It went away in about a week.

Still better than injecting the neck and having their throat swell shut!

The problem with steroids is that they might make the vaccine less effective. I'm not entirely sure on that though.

If you are vaccinating for more than one thing, get separate vaccines and don't do them all at one time. I do a bare minimum of vaccines for my horses, especially since my old mare usually reacts.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 03:06 PM
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I would suggest that next year you have the vaccinations done at intervals - that way you can at least see which one if any she's allergic too
The problem might have been something wrong in the production side of it. More & more stuff is being manufactured abroad and quality control measures not always so good - though accidents happen and mistakes get made anywhere.
Your vet should contact his supplier and report the problem 'just in case' it was a faulty batch.
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Last edited by jaydee; 05-02-2013 at 03:07 PM. Reason: removed word put in error
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for your replies! Hero is starting to go back to normal. Thank goodness. Hero is a bit of a whimp when it comes to pain and kinda of over exaggerates it. When he was first showing signs of having a bad reaction he actually fell back wards a couple of times. My need less to say after a couple of days on bute, the swelling went down and he's back to running in the pasture like his old racehorse self. Just scared me because he never had a reaction like that and it freaked me out.
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Chad Barnes 6-16-85~7-22-13
Hero Act - Thoroughbred Gelding ~ Gunner - Quarter Horse Gelding ~ John Deere - Mini Gelding
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 01:44 PM
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At my barn, quite a few people give their horses a day or two off after vaccines because they know their horse(s) will get sore/stiff/swollen in the area.

Though this year, a couple mares had a weird reaction to what we narrowed to what must have been the rabies vaccine. They laid down and wouldn't get up for a while and had to be forced up to be brought inside. One livened up quite a bit, but another one kept lying down then getting up in her stall. While standing, she'd look very lethargic, stand against the back wall and grind her teeth. BO didn't know what she was doing, but a friend's gelding grinds his teeth when he's upset about something, so I recognized the sound. I've never heard this mare do something like that before and she was completely back to normal within 24 hours of the shots. It was weird.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-03-2013, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
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My mare always got a stiff neck, big lump at injection site, lack of appetite, lethargy and diarrhea from the flu rhino vaccination. Her reaction always lasted 3 days, starting a few hours after vaccinations. This year, the vet didn't give it to her, so she had no problems.

What I did for her when she had a reaction was to give her bute the day of shots. I also warm (not hot) compressed the swollen injection site, which she enjoyed. She also did better if I walked her around for 20 minutes every couple of hours- her neck loosened up.

Good luck with your boy!
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