Rabies Shots - Do you give them to your horses?

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Cimarron

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Do most of you all give your horses rabies vaccinations? We have never but heard that it is being recommend here in Kansas as chances of getting it are higher than in the past few years. We have already given our own vaccinations but was wondering if we should add this. We will be giving west niles soon. What do you all do? Sheila
 

Jill

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I do give it to mine


In my area, Virginia, rabies is a problem.

Back in 2003, I had a colt I hadn't vaccinated yet (he was just barely old enough if I remember right). I looked out my window and saw a fox in our yard around 9am and it didn't look right plus the time of day is not right for a fox to be out and about. I ran outside scared he'd give my colt rabies (I guess not thinking or caring it could attack me). Before I could get out, it sniffed around our shed and it was so leisurely in the yard. When I got out, it had gone to the side of our yard which is wooded and just wandered off slowly looking over it's shoulders a couple times but not in ANY hurry. I am sure this fox was rabid.

Another time, I saw a raccoon walking along the road in daylight and you could tell by its eyes it was rabid. It was a really scary / creepy / haunting look (nightmares).

Anyway, as I understand it, you do NOT want to give rabies vaccine to pregnant mares (wait until after foaling).
 
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backwoodsnanny

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Yes we give rabies well WE dont as here it has to be administered by a vet. Numbers are kept on the vaccine. Dogs Have to have rabies to be licensed and it is fairly prevalent here so horses always get it.
 

WLS

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Yes, we give Rabies shots here in Southern Ontario. We had a fox diagnosed with Rabies shot in our driveway a few years back. So I am very paranoid about this Disease. I also run a 4-h Club and feel it is my responsibility to protect the children since they handle my horses.

However, we use to vaccinate every year for Rabies and then found out from a Vet student that the Rabies vaccine is actually good for three years. So now we vaccinate foals at six months, then every three years there after.

NEVER, Never vaccinate a pregnant mare. Give after foaling. Wendy
 

wildoak

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We give rabies also, not worth the risk in not doing it. And fyi, I've been giving my pregnant mares rabies vaccine for a number of years with no ill effects, per my vet who is a reproductive specialist. Have not done it this year because of some localized reactions I had with it last year on some younger horses - no point in stressing pg mares more than necessary, but I need to revisit this with my vet and see what her thoughts are.

Jan
 

Dream

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However, we use to vaccinate every year for Rabies and then found out from a Vet student that the Rabies vaccine is actually good for three years. So now we vaccinate foals at six months, then every three years there after.
Wendy,

The vet student is almost correct. The Rabies vaccine is good for 3 years IN DOGS AND CATS. There is no evidence that it lasts 3 years in horses and the current recommendation is still to vaccinate horses every year. Don't mess around with this disease. It's not worth it. The vaccine is cheap and works very well.

The vaccine is not labeled for pregnant mares but it has been given to many pregnant mares with no ill effects. To give it or not depends on your comfort level and your vet's preference. I will give it if the mare hasn't had it in the last year. If she got it right before being bred then I wait.
 

albahurst

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Hi Sheila-

Our horses, barn cats, and dog all get rabies vaccinations! Horses get them yearly. It is my understanding that veterinarians have to administer the rabies vaccine here in Kansas. Ours are all going to the vet in two weeks for this very thing. The vet here only charges for the cost of the vaccine. I think it is worth it. There have been some cases of equine rabies in this area in recent years.

I would urge you to include this vaccine


Peggy
 

RobinRTrueJoy

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I do get all of my horses their rabies vaccines however if they are pregnant, they receive them when the vet comes to do the IGG test on the newborn foals.

Robin
 

SilverDollar

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No, we do not give it in our area of Southern California. I asked the vet about it just two weeks ago when my horses got their shots and he said that it's not on the list...yet. They are monitoring it closely and he says it may be only a matter of time before it becomes recommended in my area.
 

MyBarakah

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All my horses (except pregnant mares, until after they foal) get vaccinated for Rabies and all my horses also get vaccinated for West Nile.
 

WLS

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However, we use to vaccinate every year for Rabies and then found out from a Vet student that the Rabies vaccine is actually good for three years. So now we vaccinate foals at six months, then every three years there after.
Wendy,

The vet student is almost correct. The Rabies vaccine is good for 3 years IN DOGS AND CATS. There is no evidence that it lasts 3 years in horses and the current recommendation is still to vaccinate horses every year. Don't mess around with this disease. It's not worth it. The vaccine is cheap and works very well.

The vaccine is not labeled for pregnant mares but it has been given to many pregnant mares with no ill effects. To give it or not depends on your comfort level and your vet's preference. I will give it if the mare hasn't had it in the last year. If she got it right before being bred then I wait.
Hello Michelle:

Thanks for your input, but now you have me worried, I have always trusted my faithful local vet whom has agreed, no need to vaccinate Rabies annually. I am going to have to quiz them again.

Questions: Why would a vaccine out of the same bottle be good for cats/dogs for three years and horses, only one year? Are there different varieties of vaccine that might have different coverage lengths.?

I understand there is a blood "teeter test" that checks the immune system, would this be worth doing to check for antibodies?

As for pregnant mares, I am very cautious. Had a vet once discourage me from vaccinating a pregnant barn cat for Rabies, told me the kittens could die. Scared the heck out of me.

The reason, I only do Rabies every three years, is not a cost factor, but a concern that we as owners are over vaccinating our animals. (I have read articles on this.) I would appreciate any comments from your professional point of view. Thanks, Wendy
 
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Jill

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I am for sure not a vet, but I do use a bottle w/ directions that tell 1cc for dogs/cats and 2cc for horses so the same product for different animals. What I think it is is that a horse's immune system is not exactly comparable to a dog's or cat's, so the vaccine could have different lengths of efficacy (?).
 

Margo_C-T

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No vet has ever told me that Rabies is an indicated vaccine for horses in my area; I don't recall EVER hearing a report of equine rabies anywhere in my vicinity-or for that matter, in my state...

Where I live, there is little 'cover', and a generally inhostile environment (dry, desolate!) for most of the vermin that can carry rabies. We do have coyotes and the occasional skunk, not many of the ones others have mentioned, at least in my immediate vicinity--so I have never vaccinated any horse for rabies. Also, in my state, you cannot order rabies vaccine for your own use, and vaccinations for rabies MUST be done by a veterinarian. All of this could change in future, of course.

Margo
 

Dream

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I have just consulted the website of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. They are the group that provides the recommended vaccine protocols for horses. We follow these recommendations as a rule. While immunity may be longer lived we can't be sure and if we don't follow recommended protocols we may be found liable if something goes wrong. Titers can be run but there are no published reports for what is considered a protective level. I put my hands in horses mouths all the time for dentistry, chokes etc.(choke can be one of the first signs of rabies). I want to know that the horses I work on have been fully vaccinated.

Here is what the site says about rabies;

"Rabies is an infrequently encountered neurologic disease of equids. While the incidence of rabies in horses is low, the disease is invariably fatal and has considerable public health significance. It is recommended that rabies vaccine be a core vaccine for all equids."
 

Russ

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Yes, I vaccinate for rabies...here's why. Have you ever gone through the human rabies shot???

It is extremely expensive....and I mean EXPENSIVE! I was exposed to a bat...we could not catch it to be tested....none the less the doctor recommended to go through the series of rabies shots for my own protection. While the shots didn't hurt....it is a weekly shot for I think 6 weeks if I remember....I had this schedule and regular appointments to follow to the T...it was a real mess just for the clinic to get the serum. When I got the bill for what insurance didn't pay....I about fainted. We are talking thousands of dollars.

Take my advice, PLEASE...vaccinate your dogs, cats and Horses. There are enough ''freak'' incidents in life like my one time bat encounter
.....that will warrant you to deal with a rabies shot. Gladly those are not common occurences...dealing with bats.

Why take the chance of being exposed by a unvaccinated horse? We pet our horses all the time and have knicks/cuts and slobbers from the horse....I feel safer knowing their vaccinated in case they ever come in contact with a another rabid animal.
 

Marty

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No, I don't give it here either. First, I don't have a bunch of possums or wildlife etc on my place at all.

If there was an outbreak, my vet would notify me and then we would do as recommended.

However back in Florida we were over run with possums and raccoons and all that, and there was rabies in my area all the time so it was given there. I did not like that shot. At the time it was a very hard shot......made horses "off" and/or sick usually. And it was to be given by a vet only.
 

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