Re: Titers, Vaccinations & associated problems


Maxine, if you are having vaccine reactions in several of your horses, I'd strongly recommend evaluating your vaccination technique and locations -- you just really should NOT be seeing reactions of this nature. I've had horses for over 25 years now, and for the majority of that time have vaccinated my own... currently I have 10 with two on the way, and for a number of years now I've had a few foals each year... and in all of that time useing quite regular vaccinations for virtually everything reasonable for the area, I have only ONCE had any sort of reaction, and that to pneumabort-K given in the neck (I ALWAYS go in the butt with those now!!). Even then, it was not an infected abcess, but a heat/swelling local reaction that subsided with time. There just really is no reason you should be seeing reactions other than on a very very rare basis in a single horse. If its to one particular vaccine from a particular supplier, then you should be able to simply switch to a diffe!
rent brand and eliminate the pro
blem. Vaccination reactions are generally from only a few problems... insufficient hygeine resulting in some bacteria being entrained into the shot and resulting in a pussy abcess requireing treatment or a heated swelled area where the body manages to overcome the infection itself, or an allergic reaction to the adjuvant (the solution) used to carry the vaccine antigen. In the latter case, you'd only be likely to see this sort of problem in a single horse, not multiple ones. Otherwise, regularly getting some heat and swelling implies that either the shot isn't being handled hygenically enough, or the placement is less than ideal, or a long enough needle isn't being used (too shallow in the muscle and a reaction is much more likely).

To all, on the issue of vaccinations. There is a trend currently in our society to NOT vaccinate and all sorts of fears that vaccinations may be causing harmful reactions (autism, crone's disease, etc). Unfortunately, many are using the reasoning that they've never seen a case of polio, or measles, etc... so why vaccinate? This is a VERY VERY poor rational and it is not a correct way to consider the situation. Because you have never seen a case of strangles or Encephalatis, etc., does NOT mean that it should be fine to not vaccinate. This was rather distinctly proven in the last few years when measles vaccination dropped significantly, and there was a massive outbreak of measles in the Chicago area. There were something like 35,000 cases of measles and several thousand I believe were hospitalized, with several hundred of those dying. This was distinctly a result of pockets of non-resistance being built up by people failing to vaccinate their children.

At that point, once infection started, instead of being a few here and there, it spread like mad and even some vaccinated elderly people fell to it, mainly because their system simply was not capable of the response necessary to overcome the disease when that massively exposed. We DON'T see many of these disease simply because of the massive massive vaccination efforts made a number of decades ago... I've never seen an active case of polio, but my father (71) as a child saw many and lost friends to it.

When people decide to not vaccinate their horses for years, and not test titers either, under the assumption that since they've never seen the disease its an unnecessary expense, they are setting up their area for this exact same type of massive outbreak as was seen with the Chicago measles.... Unvaccinated horses put the entire population at risk, and those who don't check titers or vaccinate are using all those who do for protection while increasing the risk to all....

Desert Spring Sport Horses
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