Why I Hate Vaccinating

I vaccinate the horses myself.  For something this simple, I won’t allow myself to pass it off on the vet.  For about a week before the shots (thankfully I only have to give them in March and September), the nightmares start.  I know I can do it, it’s not that – I stress each time over allergic reactions.
This probably isn’t going to come to a surprise to anyone that Kobi has reactions to his vaccines since he’s so sensitive to everything.  I’ve had to try out different brands to see which ones he is the least sensitive to – it isn’t Merck.  Not that they aren’t a fine company – just not for Kobi’s vaccines.
Toni and I gave the horses their Fall vaccines: EWT and West Nile.  No issues.  We made it through the first 30 seconds (highest time for seizures if they will be allergic) and then a couple of hours before trouble hit.  I went to put the horses to bed at 9:30 and Sugar came rushing up (I had them in the back yard), but I couldn’t find or hear Kobi.  He was out the back of the barn – just standing there.  It was almost as if he had ‘medicine head’ and was doped up.  I got him in his stall and he stood there.  He wasn’t interested in his grain or hay.
It was the vaccine – or at least I felt 99.9% sure it was.  I listened to his gut and had good sounds on both sides and took his temperature as he nibbled at his feed.  It was average.  He did have some swelling at the injection site, but it didn’t seem tender or any warmer than the rest of his neck.  I checked the banamine I keep on hand to keep them comfortable and it expired almost two years ago – wasn’t going to risk it, but I also didn’t want to throw it out in case it came to that.  I checked on him one more time before I went to bed at 10 – no change but he ate his grain.
I went back out at 5 (as soon as I got up) and Kobi was awake.  I had some alfalfa cubes soaking in water overnight (to make sure he stayed hydrated) and gave them to him (and Shug) this AM.  He still seems tender in his neck (duh!) but he ate it and is a bit more responsive.
Lessons learned:  Not to use Merick vaccines (seem to be a stronger reaction than the cheap stuff) and vaccinate in the AM, so he has over 12 hours before panicking me at bedtime!

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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1 Response to Why I Hate Vaccinating

  1. Anna Hamel says:

    Your dad will have a hayday with this – why are you vaccinating those horses?:) I hope he is back to normal now.


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