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Discussion on Reaction from Flu/rhino vaccine

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Lori Sokolsky (Bailey)
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 3, 2001 - 9:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 6 yr old gelding had his regular fall vaccines on Sept 10 including flu/rhino and west nile vaccines. He has always gotten stiff from the Flu/Rhino vaccine so he is given Banamine the day before the day of the vaccine and the day after and he is usually fine. (He received Flu/Rhino on right side and West nile on Left) After this vaccine he became very stiff on right side he could hardly walk. There was some swelling and heat at the site of the Flu/rhino vaccine. The vet came out on Sept 14 because he was getting worse and gave him Ketofin and told us to put hot compresses on his neck and DMSO. He continues to get worse he was barely moving could not bend his head down to eat hay or grass and had a low grade fever for 5 days by now. On Sept 17 the vet came back and ultra sounded the horses neck to determine if it was going to abscess. The ultrasound did not show any fluid. The vet put horse on Baytril antibiotics for 5 days and gave him a shot of bute. By Sept 19 the horse had begun to stock in his right hind and front legs and both legs had a lot of heat in them. After he finished the 5 days of Baytril his legs were still big and hot so the vet put him on Naquasone for 3 days. His legs went down for 1 day. His low grade fever came back (101.7). The vet had me get on and move him around on Sept 24 and 25 because his fever was down and he was brighter. By Sept 26 the lump on his neck was huge and he was having trouble moving again and could not reach down to eat his hay and started having diarrhea. The vet came back on Sept27 to re ultrasound his neck and agian no fluid. On Sept 28 the horse went to the hospital because the diarrhea had gotten really bad and he was barely moving and his legs were big on right side. He was put on Genocin and bute and monitored for 4 days. By Oct 1 the diarrhea is gone his fever is normal and his legs are down. He is home now and on Genocin for 5 more days and bute for 2 more weeks. His neck is still swollen and hot but i was able to ride him lightly(walk and a little trot) yesterday Oct 2 and he felt a bit stiff and short but at least he was moving. This is going on 3 weeks since the shot and he is still not even 75%. My vets are baffled and I am quite concerned. Has anyone had a similar reaction to a Flu/Rhino (fort dodge) vaccine? If you have how did you treat it? any information will be appreciated.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 7:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The question still is exactly what disease did your horse have. Though local infection turning into septicemia seems most likely, but a severe local allergic reaction and purpura cannot be ruled out from your description. Infection is treated with antibiotics and NSAIDs but purpura is different, for more on this see, Equine Diseases: Lameness: Swollen, Painful, Legs.

I used this vaccine for 10 years before switching to the intranansal flu. I still use the Fort Dodge EHV1/4 vaccine.
DrO

PS: Lori, this is the wrong forum for this discussion. This forum is meant to take questions on how to post. Better would have been starting a new conversation under the article on vaccintations. I will move this in a few days to that forum.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 7:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cathy I erased your post by accident while trying to straighten out this forum. This area posts last question first. So here it is, DrO:

By Cathleen Androulidakis (Idealwhe) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 10:22 am:

Hello Lori,

I am sorry about your horse and I hope he's much better and well on the road to recovery. I am writing this because I just had this discussion with my Vet when he was here for Fall shots several days ago. First about Ft. Dodge and their rush to get things on the market. My Vet feels like it's pressure from the Federal Government to have answers to these diseases. People want answers. Secondly, about multiple vaccines.

I believe and have always believed that we give too many multiples of vaccines together. We do this in order to save on both time and money. We do this for humans as well as animals. No where in nature are you, or your animals exposed to all of those things together at one time. I feel like we bombard the immune system and throw it into shock, resulting in auto-immune diseases, like diabetes, lupus and many others. This is my personal opinion. While your horse was trying to deal with rhino/flu it was thrown a totally new disease...West Nile Virus. We do this to our children too. Polio, Whooping cough, tetanus, chicken pox, etc. How can the immune system for a little baby handle all of those things all at once? We can't afford to run back and forth to the Doctors office and receive one vaccine at a time for ourselves or our animals. Yet, the combination of shots seems unwise and unhealthy to me. Just throwing this out there as food for thought. Seeking a happy medium.

Thanks, Cathie =^..^=
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 7:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cathy,
I disagree with your vets assesment. I don't think the govt is pressuring the companies and if there is information to the contrary I would like to know it. I think the companies pressure the govt agencies to approve these vaccines by stating a emergency need. Certainly the EPM vaccine is in this category. This is often supported by the constituencies of our represenitives who pressure the legislators for answers to the worries they have, whether the answers help or not.

But, I am OK with this as long as we have access to truthful information on efficacy and safety. This allows us to decide. Though I frequently rale on equestrians making emotional decisions instead of rational ones I will defend to the death their right to do it.
DrO
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Cathleen Androulidakis (Idealwhe)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 8:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Exactly how do you feel about the EPM vaccine by Fort Dodge? I am not picking on Ft Dodge in particular - I am speaking generally about vaccine companies. Ft Dodge just happens to have their hat hung out there on this one.

I understand it's desperate NEED, believe me I have been with friends that have suffered with this problem. Now we have a "vaccine" offered by Ft Dodge that once administered will make your horse test positive for EPM. Not a great selling point if you are trying to sell a horse. I wouldn't buy a horse like that I don't care how many times you tell me it's just the vaccine. If people are being honest with themselves they wouldn't either. We still don't know if it even works! I have yet to meet a Vet that recommends that you give this vaccine in your regular rotation. Don't get me wrong, I want one too! I want EPM to be blasted off the face of this earth. I want nothing more than to never have to worry about it again. Yet, here's a vaccine that I wouldn't touch.

Is the West Nile Vaccine another one of these? Do we even know yet? How much information do they release? How much is held back? How much is truth or fiction. I understand the pressure from all sides. (I will ask my Vet where he got his information) It becomes the chicken or the egg theory whether it's the government pressuring these companies, or the people pressuring the government to pressure the companies. Bottom line is to come up with solutions to these dreadful diseases. We all want answers. You want to provide your patients with cures because we expect you to. When you can't it weighs heavily on you as a Vet. We call the Vet to wave his magic wand and make it all better. I want answers, I just want truthful ones using good science, based in scientific fact, to make a good vaccine - that works.

I agree with you about emotional decision making vs good common sense. Also about it being my right to do so. I have seen it over and over again especially in the equestrian world. However people that do this are a special breed of people. We take our rewards not in monetary value but in a rehabilitated horse that's finally eating or drinking. It's the little things that keep us going. How many other people do you know that are happy to see poop? When I go out there in the morning and check stalls before I feed I am thrilled to see poop. The more there is the happier I am. Where do you meet people like that? Emotions run high because the reward is emotional. It's difficult to be scientific and want facts on one hand, and emotional on the other. Sounds like a typical woman...hahahaha!

Cathie =^..^=
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cathy,
My thoughts on this vaccine are in the articles:
1) Care for Horses: Disease Prevention and Health Care: Vaccines and Vaccination Schedules
2) Equine Diseases: Nervous System: EPM, Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis
DrO
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Suzanne Moore (Suzym)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

LOL! Cathie! It IS so hard to remain logical when you're afraid there is something wrong with your horse :) As you say, the whole thing is about the emotional evolvement we have with these big goofballs :O

Of course, this same situation exists in human medicine. When there is a pressing need, sometimes you have to wonder if drugs are rushed onto the market without adequate testing. We howl if the FDA doesn't release a drug - then we howl if they DO and the drug is later found to be a problem. No easy answers here for human or horse doctors :(

Suzy
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Cathleen Androulidakis (Idealwhe)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 4, 2001 - 4:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Lori,

I am sorry I ran all over your post about your sick gelding with my continued ranting about vaccines. It's just when I see situations like yours it pushes that "freak out" button that I have concerning vaccines.

I hope your boy is doing better. Please post and let us know how he is. Again my sincere apologies for ranting on your post.

Cathie =^..^=
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Karen Blan (Starzmom)
Posted on Friday, Oct 5, 2001 - 1:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori,
My horse had a severe reaction last fall to her strangles IM vaccine. She did not have the localized swelling at her neck as yours..but was diagnosed with pupura hemorragic by the vet (who I am lucky happened to be there at the time). I took her out of her stall about a week after trailering up to the vet for her vaccines and she was completely stocked up. All four legs where swollen so that they were at least three times their normal size. Her legs looked like the Michelin man...no definition...all puff. She could barely move. Her gums were bright red.
She was treated for severe allergic reaction like Dr. O mentioned with PPG, Dex, and two other drugs that I would have to look at the bill to name. Scared me to death. Vet said he had only seen this maybe ten times in twenty years.

She had never had a prior problem, and did not have problem this spring.
Still, I am nervous about getting her fall shots done.

Hope you get to the bottom of your problem. It is exasperating not to know the cause of things like this.

Hindsight is great, but I wonder if my horse had a latent case of strangles when she recieved her vaccine. The horse stabled next to her had severe bastard strangles two years prior. My horse had bad hives on one side of her next the day we went up to get her vaccinated. Just an observation that has nagged at me......
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Lori Sokolsky (Bailey)
Posted on Friday, Oct 5, 2001 - 7:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Karen,
This is the scariest thing I have ever experienced with my horses. I am now on my 4th week and my horse has a huge hard lump on the right side of his neck. He is on Genocin now and was on 2 grams of Bute until yesterday when the vet took him off bute because he had diarrea agian. Today he was so stiff he could not reach his hay or the grass and he felt like he was lame when I rode him ( I have been riding him the last 3 days and he felt a little stiff but pretty o.K.) The vet had me give him 10cc of Banamine tonight and I guess I will see how he is tomorrow. It is so sad to watch him mope around.

He has been ultrasounded 3 times and the vets say there is no pupura that they can see. They have tried to drain the lump and nothing comes out.

How long did it take for your horse to get better? The vets say this is s severe allergic reaction to the flu/rhino but no one seems to know exactly what to do to make him feel better. Since he got so stiff from one day without Bute I am begining to think the Genocin isn't doing anything because he is still on that.

Thanks for letting me know your experience. I will probably never give him another flu/rhino vaccine.
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Karen Blan (Starzmom)
Posted on Saturday, Oct 6, 2001 - 1:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lori, I am so sorry that you are having to go through this with your horse. My horse was treated by the vet for four consecutive days with dosing of Bute, Banamine, Heporin (first day only), Dex, and PPG+AH for a four day course.
She was diagnosed, as I said, with Purpura with acute adema of all four legs, petechia of mucous membranes, and chest congestion. It is strange, but I sensed that I needed to go out to the barn the evening this occured. I had not planned to, and was not dressed for it...but had this overwhelming sense that I needed to get out there. If this had not been caught so early..who knows?
She was fully recovered after a week. It was bizarre and very frightening. I hope to never go through this again. One thing I will say for my horse: she does not do anything half-way. She has only colicked once, and it was a twist of the large intestine requiring emergency surgery. Instead of a minor localized allergic reaction, she had this..yikes.
I wish your horse a quick recovery.
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Lori Sokolsky (Bailey)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 11, 2001 - 9:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well my horse was able to go back on bute because the banamine did not help him and he was so stiff he could not walk by Sat. The bute seems to help the stiffness. He still has a huge hard lump sticking out of his neck. I have been riding him (walk Trot) and he feels ok stiff and short but happy to move. I have been taking him on lots of trail rides just to get him out of the barn. He is turned out everyday but most of the time he can't stretch his head down low enough to eat grass. This is the 5th week of this reaction and I am not sure I am any closer to finding a cure or solution. My vet is very frustrated and so am I. The lump is not getting any smaller. Any ideas?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Friday, Oct 12, 2001 - 6:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lori,
I would say the odds are 100 to 1 you have infection their and it probably takes the form of an abscess, there really is nothing else that behaves this way. You need someone who can find the pocket of infection and drain it.
DrO
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Lori Sokolsky (Bailey)
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2001 - 6:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well finally the vet was able to lance the lump (which has spread down his chest)and drain the puss. They took a culture of the puss to try to determine what it is. I guess now it will have to drain for a couple of days since it took 6 weeks to develop. He seems so much brighter and is walking better. I am hoping he will continue to improve and we won't have anymore setbacks.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 17, 2001 - 5:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Exxxcellent..
DrO
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