Jump to content



This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
8 replies to this topic

#1 MajorClementine


    I gotta get a life...

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,182 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:22 PM

It's that time of year again. For the last 5 or so years we've vaccinated our own horses rather than have the vet out to do it. We had him show us how and where and it goes. He showed us a neat trick I'd never seen before. You grab a pinch of skin on the neck, put the needle next to it and wiggle the skin you've pinched while you gently push the needle in. It almost goes in on it's own, like a hot knife through butter. Anyway.... to the point of this post..


We've always used this combo vaccine https://www.valleyve...cd-f3d74ed9bfd3


We've never had any reactions in horses big or small but now I'm reading that you shouldn't give minis combo vaccines like this. Has anyone had a serious reaction from using a combo vaccine? Like I said, we've never had a problem with any of our horses so I'll probably continue to use it for them but should I worry about introducing it to a new mini should I get one?


Mostly just curious....

Happy in farm country with DH and our beautiful son
-also living with-
"Major" Black & White Pinto Gelding - Mohawk Man 
"Clementine" Bay Mare - Sassy driving mare

"Pistol" Sorrel Gelding - project horse

"Candice" Bay Pinto Mare - The Wonder Mini

♥ ♥Check out the latest Lil Beginnings Featured Sale Board Ads HERE!

#2 chandab


    LB Forum Elite Member!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,298 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:35 PM

If you've not had any reactions, then you are probably good to continue as you have been.
Some minis do react to such combo shots, as I'm sure full-size have as well; but not all do, so if you haven't had any issues, there really isn't a reason to change your usual routine.
I don't show, don't have neighbors, don't have horses coming and going, so we vaccinate with a much simpler vaccine protocol.
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Bonny, Dolly, Baybe, Bliss, and Sophia
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny, Spotty
Donkey: Tilly

#3 amysue


    I gotta get a life...

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,161 posts

Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:26 AM

As Chanda suggested, if you don't have problems with reactions then continue using them. In my experience, very young, very old or compromised animals react poorly to "vaccination overload" and while it seems troubling that the dose for a mini is the same as a draft with many vaccines, the dosage and administration has been configured for equine in general. I too, vaccinate my own animals (except for rabies) and sometimes have to adjust our program for weather, current risks in our area (west nile) and the horse's overall state/condition at the time. I avoid boosting during hot/dry weather, as I found it to agitate a few of mine. I only boost west nile if the ag center advises it in our area. My 32 year old mare and 19yo stallion only get rabies in Dec then tetanus in spring as the 6 way combo is too much for their systems. I do the same with calves as well, if he is a poor doer or got off on a rough start (battled scours/pneumonia ) I only boost the respiratory vac when healthy and give tetanus when castrating and avoid the combo for that animal. Many people will offer their experience and it may differ greatly from yours, thats okay, do what works for you. The horses being shown will need more than the pet and broodmares need their own regimen. I do however stick with one brand and keep records of what brand, serial # and lot# and exp date is used in case of a reaction, and dose everyone on same side of neck (wouldn't want a bee sting to be confused with reaction) all this helps me keep it all straight. I have had problems with some combo shots of one brand and not with another and know of people who have experienced the exact opposite of my experience. ..again, go with your gut, vet's advice and do what works for you.

~ AmySue

Ponies, Inc.

Canterbury, CT


#4 paintponylvr


    Someone just shoot me!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,073 posts

Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:58 PM

Those of you who have not seen one of my "Books" - get prepared, LOL




I believe you do what is working for you now and if you decide to make changes later, that you do so then.


I also believe you need to follow the protocols your county/state and your vet follows - they may require different things than our state does.




I've never personally like the combo vaccines - especially the ones that combine what we nicknamed the Mosquito vax(Eastern, Western, Venezuelan encephalitis; West Nile) with the Cold vax (Rhino 1 & 4/Flu - how many different strains can you get in one vaccine??).  They all have different levels of antibodies that they build up to and the timelines can be different.    I also feel that it COULD be too much for their systems - if they are building antibodies for too many things - how do they get to large enough levels to be protected?  There were studies available on that once upon a time, I am not sure where they are these days OR if they've done any new ones in the past 10 years.


I have been led to believe, by many different vets, that the Flu/Rhino vaccines are only good for 90 days.  If that's the case - to be fully protected - your horse would need to have that vaccine 4x/year; better a little closer and 5x/yr.  Yet it doesn't prevent the horse from getting sick - just lessons the severity of the issue if he contracts it.  Also, unless they've come up with something new in the last 2 years since we moved into our new property, the Rhino/Flu does not protect against that "rogue" Rhino virus that caused neurological issues at some shows in 2013/2014/2015.


Human Flu vaccines make me deathly ill - the last two that I had put me in the hospital, on fluids for 2-4 days each...  Not sure what we'll do when I get even older and my immune system is compromised by my age, LOL.


In our personal experiences, since there have been some major "improvements" in vaccines (adjuvants added, different carriers for the actual protection) - we have had more and more reactions.  This has been most noticeable in the Rabies vaccine but have had reactions to the Flu/Rhino as well (like the ones who've received them ALL come down sick!! and then have to be treated for upper respiratory issues) and many more fever reactions, that we didn't have from the mid 90's to the mid-2000's, to the E/W/Tetanus that we currently give. 


I know that when the vet gave 15 ponies Rabies vaccinations in October 2014, 11 of them had reactions with 5 being so severe that they had to be bucketed different size water buckets, fed hay/feed at specific levels for each pony as they literally couldn't move/shift their heads/necks - some had to be on fluids with difficulty swallowing, some were on antibiotics.  All 11 were on pain killer(s) and had their necks/chests hot packed for 10+ days - the 6 that could move shuffled around like zombies w/ their heads/necks level with their withers.  It was god-awful!!!  Larry and I were both working full time then - I had  3 adult age daughters, 1 SIL, 2 neighbors and 2 other horsey friends "split shifts" with Larry and I to water, feed, clean behind (they weren't stalled) and hot pack the necks/chests of the affected ponies.  The pictures, in heavy winter coats, don't really show the swelling(s) or the abscess(s) that developed.  Of course, it didn't help - we were running so hard busy the first 4 days - didn't really get any pics.  By the time I took them - they were all well on the mend and they all mended.  Thankfully, the weather held and cooled off w/o any major storms.  The vaccines were actually from three separate lots but all from the same company.  Though I didn't get any "support" re: the vaccines themselves - the antibiotics were covered (I think by the vaccine company??)& pain meds.  We covered vet farm visits, fluids.  Then, and my vet reminds me every time we schedule a vax update, she switched companies that made the Rabies vaccines.  We also now give the Rabies only in the largest butt muscle - not in the neck or chest.


In the past, when our (full size) horses got the Strangles vaccine - from then on they always tested positive for strangles (Flashi,Oly & Wizard were on the show trail in 2012 & 2013.  I know that Wizard got Strangles vaccine with his trainers in IL, don't know about the other two while in TX.  Haven't had them titered to see if they would test positive for that now).  Does that also mean that they carried/could pass it on? The ones who got the vaccine and the ones who didn't, never came down sick.


Here in NC, I know of farms that "carry" the Rhino that causes mares to abort.  It appears to be in the soil...  That was NOT fun on the ride alongs I did to a couple farms - 2 yrs in a row (SHUDDER-SHUDDER).  Vet & techs/assistants wore almost full Haz-Mat suits, ICK.  Vehicles drove thru "dip zones" - with disinfectant in them & were sprayed with disinfectant when we left.  Other farms seemed to have issues with the Rota-Virus.  Their broodmares and foals were given the vaccines for that.  Again, NOT FUN at all!  Those vaccines did help - as long as they weren't missed....


I have seen Pneumabort-K work, have had it work, then when our vet suggested going to the 1st dose at 3 months after last breeding date (given 3,5,7 & 9th months of pregnancy), I feel like our mares suddenly ended up "empty" between the 5th & 7th months of pregnancy - usually right before/right after the 7th month dose.  It's hard to say.  Again, right now, I'm not giving it at all (& Valley Vet's recommendation is at the 5th, 7th & 9th months again)...  I do a booster of the "mosquito shot" and tetanus about 6-8 weeks before the foal is due- if I don't know actual breeding dates, hopefully the mare has "read the book" and we give the vax when they start developing an udder.  That seems to work well.  The foal is passively protected thru the colostrum and then gets their first vaccines at 5/6 months of age with a booster 8 weeks later.  Not all of our foals have been tested recently - but the ones that have - have had great numbers on their IgG tests (>800) - so we must be doing something right.


I miss being able to pick and choose which vaccines I could give.  I DO booster ours if we know we are going to have a heavy hurricane season &/or large mosquito concentrations.  At our other place, we had large bursts of mosquitos!  Here - not so much.  Used to be able to get a 2 type vaccine (just e/w encephalitis) w/o tetanus (haven't been able to find it in the last few years).  So, I'd give the 1st spring vax with Tet, the summer/fall vax with just the e/w - no tetanus.  Can't do that anymore - you can't get the "mosquito shot" w/o the tetanus in it.  Currently, we have gone back to not giving West Nile.  Our youngsters get the rabies vaccine at the same time as they get their first coggins.  Our ponies now older than 15 yrs - no longer get Rabies vaccine at all.  Even younger if I raised them and I know they've had 5 consecutive years of Rabies vaccine...  I don't give flu/rhino or Pneumabort-K anymore.  This has worked for us. 


There are other vaccines here in NC (Potomac Horse Fever - also passed by mosquitos; EPM - there's been a lot of controversy about this vaccine the last few years ; Botulism; Rota-virus and Strangles - may be more than this) and if our property was a problem with any of these OR we were actively showing or bringing in training ponies or for breeding, we'd do more vaccines again - based on what the local vet/our new county says to use.




I am not an advocate of no vaccines whatsoever. 


I am very much into following the advice of your vet BUT being able to give your vaccines as you see fit. 


AND if what you are doing IS working for your horses and you, (ain't broke, don't fix it) then don't change!  If you are concerned as your horse gets older - find out more about what you are giving him - how his body/metabolism/immune system works with it - and go from there.



Paula Hoffman
Cameron, NC
LP Painted Ponys

All That Style n' Class - Halter HOF
LP Painted FlashNfluf -
2013 ASPC Congress: Reserve Champion Futurity 2 yr old Foundation Mare

Buckeye WCF Classical Wizard -

2013 ASPC Congress: Champion Futurity 2 yr old Foundation Stallion

2012 ASPC Congress: Champion Yearling Foundation; Reserve Champion Foundation Stallion
LP Painted Mo-Olympus -
2013 ASPC Congress:  Reserve Champion Futurity 2 yr old Foundation Stallion

WF Action Jackson - RIP - May 1992 - July 2012

#5 MajorClementine


    I gotta get a life...

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,182 posts

Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:25 PM

We don't have to vaccinate our equine for Rabies around here so that's nice. We do, however, if we are traveling to an area that does recommend it. I've wondered about splitting the vaccines to tetanus and West Nile in the spring and any others in the fall. I may move to that if I start to have any reactions as my animals age.


I always use the same brand since I've haven't had problems with it. I'm not into bargain shopping when it comes to vaccines. I also keep track of the serial # on the vial incase we do have a problem. Actually I usually peel the sticker off and stick it on my chart so I have everything right there.


We do, also, check with the vet and extension office in our area each spring to see if they are still recommending the same vaccines. I don't want to be loading them up with stuff they don't need.


We did have one reaction on a riding horse years ago with a certain brand of vaccination that the vet had switched to but since then we haven't had any problems with that horse. 

Happy in farm country with DH and our beautiful son
-also living with-
"Major" Black & White Pinto Gelding - Mohawk Man 
"Clementine" Bay Mare - Sassy driving mare

"Pistol" Sorrel Gelding - project horse

"Candice" Bay Pinto Mare - The Wonder Mini

#6 miniwildfire


    Addiction Free

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts

Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:52 PM

Is there a pattern of what "brands" of vaccines cause the most reactions.   Could someone create a poll so everyone can vote?

#7 Miniv


    I just can't help myself :-)

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,491 posts

Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:37 PM

There used to be one particular brand that we and others experienced reactions from, but it's been a few years now since we used it and I haven't heard much lately, so some kind of "poll" may be interesting to see. The manufacturer may have changed their formula.


Just on a side note......The most reactions I've been aware of are when a shot is given in the neck muscle. We personally prefer to give them in the butt muscle.

Miniature Ventures -- Larry & Maryann Cerullo -- <a href="http://www.miniature...eventures.com/" target="_blank">http://www.miniature...ntures.com/</a>
Breeding for the continuous improvement of the miniature horse AND miniature classic Arenosa Shetland in athletic ability and beauty. Relocated to beautiful Powell Butte, Oregon in 2005! Come visit!

Our posts are only our opinions or based from our experiences since 1990 as miniature horse owners/breeders. Please take our advice or leave it.....It's a FREE country (last I checked!).

** "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless."
Proverbs 31:8 **

#8 JMS Miniatures

JMS Miniatures

    I'm a goner

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,895 posts

Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:03 AM

I've used this vaccine with no problems. Yes its better to give in the butt muscle as well as working them shortly afterwards. It reduces their chances of getting stiff or sore.


The only brand that I've heard so many problems with was Fort Doge but the company has changed since then.

#9 Minimor


    LB Forum Elite Member!

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,768 posts

Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:49 AM

The only combo shot I've given was the EWT/WN one made by Ft Dodge and I never had even one bad reaction to it. I have had rather poor luck with another brand. I have used yet another brand this year and last and have been getting quite a few stiff necks and lethargic horses from it. They are back to normal after 48 hours and no one has been horribly sick, but I would in fact prefer the FD product to this one.

Specializing in Miniature 'over' division driving horses/prospects with conformation, MOVEMENT and refinement!

American Shetlands...just FOR THE FUN OF IT!