Posts Tagged ‘vaccination’

Big Shot

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Many years ago, I saw Billy Joel in concert and he had this great song…

This came out in 1979.  Am I really that old?

This came out in 1979. Am I really that old?

What I’m really discussing is vaccines for the recovering EPM horse.  We had to vaccinate Fudge shortly after his diagnosis of EPM in April of 2009.  I had to search far and wide for single disease vaccines, and space the injections out over time.

This year we gave the normal combination shots, but spaced them out over weeks.  He did not have any visible reaction to the shots.  I will probably continue this for a few years, if not indefinitely.

One theory I’ve heard is that vaccines made from equine dermal cells may be the culprit of reactions by EPM horses.  There is no proof of this, and no studies have been carried out.  The previous EPM vaccine, which is no longer available, had a history of reactions to it.  The vaccine was produced using equine dermal cells, and was made by Fort Dodge.

Discuss the spacing of vaccines with your vet.  My vet said every four days, and I gave them at one week intervals because it was easier to schedule.  One EPM researcher suggests one vaccine per month, and only single dose vaccines.  They also suggested giving only the most critical vaccines.  Prophylactic administration of Banamine should help.

MicroLactin and Vaccines

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Yesterday Fudge had the last of the vaccines in the refrigerator, for West Nile Virus.  It has caused a clear runny nose, slightly worse impairment of the hind legs, and general malaise.  A worsening of symptoms is typical for EPM horses, but you never know which vaccine may cause problems.

I have Fudge on the supplement MicroLactin (Duralactin) for help in reduing the inflammation in his central nervous system caused by EPM.   It helps to control neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is the first defender to arrive at the scene of infection or trauma to the skin.  Neutrophils are closely tied to the process of inflammation, so limiting them limits inflammation.

MicroLactin has been studied in humans for reduction of inflammation, and has one horse trial by Dr. Bello, involving 58 horses.  Links to the study abstracts are below.  This over-the-counter supplement is worth a try for EPM horses – especially during vaccine season.

The Use of MicroLactin for Inflammatory Conditions in Equine Veterinary Practice“, Bello, Thomas.

Effects of a Milk-Based Bioactive Micronutrient…“, Colker, Carlon.


Thursday, April 9th, 2009

For most horses, one veterinarian visit per year with a whammy of six vaccines is par for the spring weather.  For an EPM horse with a weak immune system, this could bring on a relapse of active EPM.  Veterinarians generally space single disease vaccines out over a long time, and watch carefully for reactions.  With a lack of history on Fudge, the decisions on vaccines have been problematic.

Why such a long face?

Why such a long face?

We do know that Paula Derby did not vaccinate Fudge while she owned him.  We do not know when he last had vaccines.   That means he needs every vaccine ASAP.  The preferred route for EPM’ers is to wait on vaccines until well after treatment. 

The veterinarian prioritized them in this order:  Rabies, Tetanus, PHF, West Nile, Rhino/Flu, EEE/WEE.  She suggested that we space them out one each week, and watch for reactions or a worsening of neurological symptoms.  The problem has been trying to find individual vaccines, particularly the PHF.  The veterinarian does not normally carry vaccines this way, and would have to order them by the 10 dose vial.  The EEE/WEE is not available through any supplier without Tetanus, so Fudge will probably have to get re-vaccinated with Tetanus in six weeks.  For EPM horse owners, learning how to give vaccines will save weekly visits by the vet.