|First Posted Oct 6, 2009|
Nov 20, 2011
Vaccination Side Effects Horsesby Debora Johnson
If your horse has never had a reaction from a vaccine consider yourself lucky. Although most horses do fine with their shot program, some do have adverse reactions. My horse, A Patchy, has had an adverse reaction from the Rhino/Flu vaccine two years running. Annual Horse Vaccines Therefore, we have stopped giving that shot. This past week, he had an adverse reaction from the West Nile Virus shot for the first time. He has received that shot many times in the past. This shot is not an option for us because West Nile Virus is in our area. I called the vet and asked three main questions: 1) Was Fort Dodge the manufacturer? 2)Was the vaccine killed? and 3)Can a reaction present 4 days later? The answer to all three questions was "yes."
Armed with that information I have decided to write this article. At the bottom of the page you will see links to various sources of the information. Please get a more in-depth understanding by following those links. Meanwhile, I will try to give you an outline of what I learned.
Try to Avoid Reactions
There is really no way to know if your horse is going to have adverse reactions to vaccines. However, if a horse has had a negative reaction in the past it is more likely to have an adverse reaction, again.
If Your Horse Has A Reaction
*In immunology, an adjuvant is an agent that may stimulate the immune system and increase the response to a vaccine, without having any specific antigenic effect in itself. The word "adjuvant" comes from the Latin word adjuvare, meaning to help or aid. "An immunologic adjuvant is defined as any substance that acts to accelerate, prolong, or enhance antigen-specific immune responses when used in combination with specific vaccine antigens."
Adjuvants have been whimsically called the dirty little secret of vaccines in the scientific community. This dates from the early days of commercial vaccine manufacture, when significant variations in the effectiveness of different batches of the same vaccine were observed, correctly assumed to be due to contamination of the reaction vessels. However, it was soon found that more scrupulous attention to cleanliness actually seemed to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, and that the contaminants - "dirt" - actually enhanced the immune response. There are many known adjuvants in widespread use, including oils, aluminum salts, and virosomes, although precisely how they work is still not entirely understood.
The following links provide comprehensive information about side effects that your horse can have from shots, what your options are, and what steps can be taken to help with the problem.