Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Droopy Horses

It has been three days since the horses got their immunizations and teeth floats, and they are all quite droopy.  They have been standing around with their heads hanging low, eating less and less while drinking more and more.  They are usually visibly sore for a day or two after, but I've never seen it this bad.

When I first owned horses, we had 3-way vaccinations that were for common diseases in our area.  As more people moved here and brought their horses, the 3-way vaccinations quickly became 4-way and then 5-way as new diseases were introduced.  The past couple of years we had 5-way vaccinations plus the West Nile Virus vaccine.  Now they are bundling that all together into a 6-way vaccination.  I have to wonder if it is all too much for a horse's immune system.  Perhaps we should be breaking it down to one 3-way in the spring and a different 3-way in the fall.

I've been spending a lot of time just hugging my horses and apologizing to them for putting them through that clinic.  It really kicked their butts. 

We had a couple of signs of spring recently.  Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with flowers.  We had a fly in the house.  It drove Scrappy dog crazy.  Now our next door neighbor is having construction work done on her guest house, which means she's preparing for those guests who only come when the snow melts.  By the way, my potted privacy trees did thaw out, so most of their limbs survived winter and can protect me from eyes that wander toward my bathroom window now.


Katharine Swan said...

Interesting observations. My vet gives Eastern and Western encephalomyelitis in the fall instead of the spring, because he says that when combined with West Nile (given in the spring), reactions become much more likely. Apparently vets noticed an increase in reactions to vaccines after West Nile started being included, but after he started giving the East & West vaccine in the fall, my vet's rate of bad reactions to the vaccines went way down. So my vet doesn't do 6-way vaccines at all, and would probably agree with you that they aren't good for the horses.

Judi said...

We give a whole bunch of vaccines, and once they added West Nile, my vet suggested doing it in 2 batches.

We don't use the same vet as the rest of the people at the boarding stables, and they didn't figure it out as soon as we did. Every year, a few horses got sick--even colicked. Now, all the boarders do what we do.

Before we split them into 2 sessions, we did notice the horse were depressed the next day.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Yes, I do believe the current level of recommended vaccinations are too much for our animals.

I know girls who are hauling up and down the road who don't vaccinate for as much stuff as most vets recommend the back-yard pet horse owner vaccinate against. It's a money making racket for the vets and the pharmaceutical companies.

Reddunappy said...

Splitting them may be a good idea depending on where you live and how often they are recommended.

My old mare, Easy, she got so bad with the tetnus that I quit giving her shots in the neck, now she gets her shot on the back of her leg and she is much better. Before I switched she wouldnt eat for 3 days because her neck was so sore, and I had to hang her hay up so she didnt have to put her head down. The one in her leg doesnt seem to bother her.

Promise said...

I usually split Promise's shots into Spring and Fall, also because of the addition of the WNV, also. But, another plus is it's a little easier on the wallet. :)

Rising Rainbow said...

I don't even do vacines anymore. I give my horses immune boosters instead and at the first sign of any illness or injury, I add another product to boost even more.

After Dandy had EPM and I did research for additional safe treatments to be sure the disease wouldn't reoccur, I came across some literature that suggested the way we give vaccines causes more harm to the horse's immune system than they are worth so I did a little experimenting to see how my horses reacted.

Before the change whenever I took a young horse to a new barn or it's first show, etc. the horse always got sick. It was a given. Since I quit using the vaccines, I have never had a young horse get sick under those first show or first new barn circumstances. And I have never had a case of illness relating to going to a place where other horses are sick.

Also I used to always give those extra boosters for broodmares before foaling and I had numerous times I had to transfuse foals because their IgG levels were too low. Since I quit the shots, I haven't had to transfuse one, my foals IgG scores are through the roof. That was even the case with the twins which I am told is unheard of for twin foals to have IgG scores so high.

I do worry sometimes and wonder if I am doing the right thing when new bugs come along on such but on the whole I have had very little illness over the 15 years I've done this. One year I had a cold go through the barn and that's about it.

I'm so glad that your trees survived. That's just awesome news.

Linda said...

That's interesting, and it makes sense. My Irish Wolfhound's breeder was very picky about how we gave the first shots--she did not want a "cocktail" shot just for that reason.

fernvalley01 said...

Interesting observation . I give a 3way and West Nile seperately , and mine seem fine .^ way seems like an awful lot to absorb and the imun system to cope with

Breathe said...

I'll keep that in mind, our vaccinations are coming up.

Paint Girl said...

I have my vet give the bare minimum of vaccines for what I need. I still do WNV and strangles, but I have never had a problem having the horses being given all the vaccinations at once.
I say it is the same for dogs and cats. I don't believe we need to give them vaccines so often. Mine get the required shots as puppies and kitty's and then not again until rabies is due. I have a couple cats that haven't had vaccines in years (except rabies) and they are still alive and kickin'. I watched a show on t.v. once that went into how we are over vaccinating our animals. It was quite interesting.
WV~ neybor.....to all your nosy neighbors out there, find someone else to snoop on!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

As the day wore on, the horses got worse. Barely eating and diarrhea. This is definitely not worth it, and every time I get a vet intern over here to treat the horses, they practically twist my arm to get me to do the full vaccinations twice a year. At least I refused that. My horses have always had them once a year and have been healthy.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of older horses that were subjected to the intensive vaccination schedules as youngsters on the show circuit, and now they have laminitis attacks with anything more than a tetanus vax. I was strongly coerced by the vet to give the old bred mare the 5-7-9 rhino series plus a full board of prefoaling shots, and the next day she aborted. Who knows if she'll ever get in foal again. I keep things to a minimum now with just the tetanus shot, a quality diet, and some common sense biosecurity measures. It's working for now.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww....poor ponies.
Apache's vet appt is in two weeks. She's supposed to get the FLU EHV 4 in 1, VEWT, Strangles, Rabies, and West Nile. And she'll be getting a Coggins drawn, too.
It seems a bit much to me, too.

I wouldn't do the entire vax series if I didn't have plans to take her around other horses in group rides and in ACTHA competitions this year.


achieve1dream said...

Yikes I hope everyone is doing okay. I'm kind of behind on reading so I'm going to hurry on to the next post. I believe in minimal vaccination. My dogs only get their first puppy series and then rabies every three years. Chrome I gave his first ones (I think a five way have to look it up) and then a booster and that was it. I doubt I'll vaccinate again.