West Nile Vaccine? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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West Nile Vaccine?

It is this time of year for our horses to all get coggins tested(for showing etc), and we are not being asked on whether or not to do the west Nile vaccine. Back in 2002 I know there were recorded cases of foal deformities caused by the vaccine. Foals missing eyes, and other various body parts.

I am now very reluctant to do it in my mares for that reason and the potential issues that can come from it.

To West Nile or not to?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-29-2019, 01:18 PM
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I never heard of this from vets as a risk...
So I googled it...
Found lots of comments but also found https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-rac...pregnant-mares saying it does not do what claims of some.
I also found several sites that clearly state it was a hoax and found untrue...

Do you have WNV in your area?
If you have veterinarians who you trust...do you not trust them to not risk a mare in foal of a mare going to be bred not to give vaccinations that could jeopardize the health and well-being of the baby?
I think you have to look deeper than just reading rumor mills to find facts...
Call and ask your vet...they are the most UTD on what is ailing in the industry and your best guidance in how to keep your stock healthy.
I would want my mare to be as UTD as possible before breeding since once bred it is a much more delicate area to for health concerns to be addressed when carrying a baby..
I would certainly be talking to my reproductive specialist vets for guidance.

...
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-29-2019, 01:37 PM
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I went to the CDC site and was looking at reported cases and it only shows for the US but there are quite a few on states that are bordering Canada.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
I never heard of this from vets as a risk...
So I googled it...
Found lots of comments but also found https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-rac...pregnant-mares saying it does not do what claims of some.
I also found several sites that clearly state it was a hoax and found untrue...

Do you have WNV in your area?
If you have veterinarians who you trust...do you not trust them to not risk a mare in foal of a mare going to be bred not to give vaccinations that could jeopardize the health and well-being of the baby?
I think you have to look deeper than just reading rumor mills to find facts...
Call and ask your vet...they are the most UTD on what is ailing in the industry and your best guidance in how to keep your stock healthy.
I would want my mare to be as UTD as possible before breeding since once bred it is a much more delicate area to for health concerns to be addressed when carrying a baby..
I would certainly be talking to my reproductive specialist vets for guidance.

...
I did see that there are quite a few "hoax" type articles and I always skim over anything that does not come from a proper science paper. Having said that however I have seen 3 foals back in 2002 when the big outbreak occurred and actually saw the birth of foals with missing eyes and one with a major deformity to one of its limbs and it was due to pregnant mares getting the vaccine-so that part is not a hoax and that's what made me hesitant. We have had a significant increase in West Nile cases in Western Canada which made me look into it. The numbers went from a couple of cases last year to 60+ in the last 4 months so it makes it hard to ignore.

It's been hard because I contacted 2 very well respected, local vet clinics and got 2 completely different answers on the vaccine. The one vet did think that there are some dangers to vaccinating this vaccine while there is a baby in utero. The good thing is that none of my mares are currently pregnant and won't be for another year, and they feel that vaccinating them now could only benefit them.

We decided to make the jump and get all of them done and picked up the vaccines yesterday. They will be getting their first shot today and a booster in 4 weeks.

Such hard decisions to make. So much conflicting information. Just trying to make the most educated decision for them. Thank you for your good questions. It gave me more things to think about when we were making the decision.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
I went to the CDC site and was looking at reported cases and it only shows for the US but there are quite a few on states that are bordering Canada.
That's why it got a little scary for us and I had to look at getting them vaccinated. For whatever reason the number drastically increased over a span of 6 months, so it makes it hard to ignore.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by my2geldings View Post
Having said that however I have seen 3 foals back in 2002 when the big outbreak occurred and actually saw the birth of foals with missing eyes and one with a major deformity to one of its limbs and it was due to pregnant mares getting the vaccine-so that part is not a hoax and that's what made me hesitant.
You, in person, saw those babies with the deformities in 2002?
I'm not doubting you but when I think about the thousands of births yearly and you actually saw so much mutation in such a small locale I would of been doing some intense research of what other exposures did those animals encounter.
Farms and grounds the mares lived on were what before they became pasture...
Stallions back breeding history ever have mutations before...
Environmental issues, genetic issues... what the horses were exposed to is always a must look into...
But to see 3 mutation foals in a small locale...just wow!

There are mutations and freak births all the time...they are seldom made known though...
I kind of wonder if it follows some of the thinking of vaccinating children or not that some do today...
And all of the cancer in humans/animals and the correlation of environmental issues contributing to certain cancers, in certain areas...called hot-spots, how could that not be something to research.

The test of time, past history and study participants followed must be something you indeed research if you have these fears...
For me though...with thousands of mares carrying safely a pregnancy and delivering healthy correct foals I would have a hard time not following protocol to support the mare as best we can during pregnancy against illness.
I have a hard time believing those deformities are the product of a vaccine exclusively or know there would be million dollar lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies and hopefully a vaccine pulled off the market or known warnings about when to administer and when not to widely known, not guessed at.
Please, if you should uncover anything concrete in issue/proof let us know...
Your research could also help someone else in just the same situation you find yourself in.

...
jmo...
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
You, in person, saw those babies with the deformities in 2002?
I'm not doubting you but when I think about the thousands of births yearly and you actually saw so much mutation in such a small locale I would of been doing some intense research of what other exposures did those animals encounter.
Farms and grounds the mares lived on were what before they became pasture...
Stallions back breeding history ever have mutations before...
Environmental issues, genetic issues... what the horses were exposed to is always a must look into...
But to see 3 mutation foals in a small locale...just wow!

There are mutations and freak births all the time...they are seldom made known though...
I kind of wonder if it follows some of the thinking of vaccinating children or not that some do today...
And all of the cancer in humans/animals and the correlation of environmental issues contributing to certain cancers, in certain areas...called hot-spots, how could that not be something to research.

The test of time, past history and study participants followed must be something you indeed research if you have these fears...
For me though...with thousands of mares carrying safely a pregnancy and delivering healthy correct foals I would have a hard time not following protocol to support the mare as best we can during pregnancy against illness.
I have a hard time believing those deformities are the product of a vaccine exclusively or know there would be million dollar lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies and hopefully a vaccine pulled off the market or known warnings about when to administer and when not to widely known, not guessed at.
Please, if you should uncover anything concrete in issue/proof let us know...
Your research could also help someone else in just the same situation you find yourself in.

...
jmo...

It was out of the same breeding facility and this is what multiple vets concluded at the time of delivery of those babies, so that is what I am basing my fears on.
Of course there are thousands of other possible reasons something like this could happen, but being the only differential in this was administering the west Nile vaccine during pregnancy that is what they concluded it to be the ultimate cause. Whether or not it was, itís not something anyone could 100% attest to.


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post #8 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2geldings View Post
It was out of the same breeding facility and this is what multiple vets concluded at the time of delivery of those babies, so that is what I am basing my fears on.
Of course there are thousands of other possible reasons something like this could happen, but being the only differential in this was administering the west Nile vaccine during pregnancy that is what they concluded it to be the ultimate cause. Whether or not it was, itís not something anyone could 100% attest to.

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See...being out of the same breeding facility and that is where the mutated babies were born at...
Knowing there are hundreds if not thousands of other broodmares delivering healthy correct foals...
That is what would concern me...
Why is it this place, this locale and this team of vets who have had such severe issues...


Can I suggest you contact some of the stud/breeding farms of the sport of kings...Thoroughbred racing.
Ask them what their protocol is for broodmares and WNV being given and when...
A "business" that runs in the millions of dollars in horseflesh would be in the very best know-how on having a mare foal healthy, fully developed and no freaks as possible..
I wish I had contacts as those breeding farms but I don't..
Being though that all the issues are from a particular establishment really bothers me...
...
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
See...being out of the same breeding facility and that is where the mutated babies were born at...
Knowing there are hundreds if not thousands of other broodmares delivering healthy correct foals...
That is what would concern me...
Why is it this place, this locale and this team of vets who have had such severe issues...


Can I suggest you contact some of the stud/breeding farms of the sport of kings...Thoroughbred racing.
Ask them what their protocol is for broodmares and WNV being given and when...
A "business" that runs in the millions of dollars in horseflesh would be in the very best know-how on having a mare foal healthy, fully developed and no freaks as possible..
I wish I had contacts as those breeding farms but I don't..
Being though that all the issues are from a particular establishment really bothers me...
...


Thatís exactly why I was concerned to even this long after the fact.

Really suggestion to see if I can get some feedback on their procedures with that particular vaccine.


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post #10 of 10 Old 04-02-2019, 03:24 PM
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Breeders in our area vaccinate for WNV yearly-- usually after the foal is on the ground. Most foals here are born in late winter/early spring and the mares get their WNV boosters in late April or early May. Mares bred back on the foal heat are really the only ones that might need to be vaccinated while in foal, but most people I know only breed their mares every other year so it's not a problem.

Most mares receive other boosters while in foal, but this one they wait on. Now whether that's due to actual evidence or whether that's simply been the protocol since the WNV deformed foal scare when it first came out, I don't know.


Edit - called my vet to ask



My regular vet recommends vaccinating in early pregnancy and again about a month to six weeks before foaling so the foal will have protection, but a lot of people are still gunshy about it. Honestly, I haven't seen much out there about issues with WNV in pregnant mares over the last ten years or so and neither has she. One wonders if the vaccine changed since it was first introduced, or if it was due to some other causes entirely. My vet's practice is almost entirely horses this time of year. She breeds about 10 - 15 of her own mares every year, as well as breeding about 150 other mares to her stallions or using chilled/frozen semen at the clinic for mares hauled in and she says she vaccinates pregnant mares and has no higher rates of deformity than would be expected in the general population. She would recommend vaccinating if WNV is becoming common in your area as the risk of the vaccine is far lower than the risk of problems should your mare and foal be infected with WNV.
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Last edited by SilverMaple; 04-02-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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