How Horses Handle Vaccines: Side Effects Rare, But Know What To Look For

As more humans begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, discussion of vaccine side effects seems to be everywhere. Vaccinations are a key component of proper horse care, but luckily for horses, adverse reactions to a vaccine are fairly rare. When they do happen in horses, adverse reactions are often in response to the antigens, which are foreign proteins, and adjuvants, which are added to vaccines to enhance the immune response.  

A horse experiencing an adverse reaction to a vaccine may seem “off.” He may stand with his head down and seem to have no energy. He may have a decreased appetite or have a fever. Additionally, he may seem body sore or there may be increased sensitivity at the actual injection site—or even swelling—that may cause him to hold his head and neck oddly. 

Most vaccination reactions ease in 48 to 96 hours. A dose or two of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can be given (with veterinary permission) to help him through the pain, but doing nothing is also an option. If the horse’s neck is sore, it may be harder for him to graze or eat if he’s fed on the ground. A hanging hay net and elevated water source may help him until his discomfort eases. 

In rare instances, a horse can have an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine. This is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate veterinary intervention. 

To preempt a vaccination issue, it’s helpful to keep track of what vaccines, including brand, the horse is given each year. If the horse has had reactions in the past, he can be given a dose of an NSAID just before or at the time of vaccination to prevent or reduce the adverse response. 

Read more at Stable Management

The post How Horses Handle Vaccines: Side Effects Rare, But Know What To Look For appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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