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Old 06-05-2007, 12:46 PM  
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Strangles vaccine?

I had the vet out to do a vet check on my horse and he wanted to know if I wanted the strangles vaccine. He mentioned he was concerned about doing it on older horses (mine is 10) but he would be fine. Now, this really concerns me. I didn't get to talk to him but spoke to the barn owner and now I'm concerned.

What is the issue with the vaccine? Would everyone here recommend it?
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:48 PM  
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Not sure - I thought they were all killed vacines, but maybe they can have an adverse reaction if they have had strangles in the past

I will also be interested in the answer to this
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:50 PM  
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A horse CAN get strangles from the live vaccine, and it generally causes bastard strangles, which is way worse than regular strangles. The intranasal vaccine is considered the safest and most effective!
ETA: I would recommend the intranasal. It is not 100% effective against your horse getting strangles, but makes it a much less severe case. In our barn, we recently had strangles go through, and out of over 40 horses, 4 got it, so the vaccine had over 90% success here. The young horses were the ones who got it even though they had been vaccinated. I would think that the risk of your horse getting really sick wiht it at age 10 would be greater than any risks associated with the vaccine.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:51 PM  
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Are they both live vaccines - not killed for strangles? I just can't remember...
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:52 PM  
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We do not do strangles vaccine on older horses, some of the side effects mimic strangles themselves. The older a horse is, the harder time they have with strangles. To be honest most horses have been exposed at one time or another and either develop immunity or get the illness and live through it.

I would be different if he was getting yearly boosters when you bought him, but with a unknown history I would not give him the vaccine. If you are worried about protection, then you can give the strangles medication via a puffer that shots the vaccine up the nose. Still there are risks and chances are your fellow already has met strangles and has an immunity
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:07 PM  
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There is a killed vaccine available for strangles, but it has been proven to be almost completely ineffective. The intranasal has less risk because it causes the mucous producing tissues to develope antibodies without completely introducing the virus into the bloodstream, so the next time the horse is exposed to strangles it seems more like a cold, and the horse fights it off before it becomes full fledged strangles.
You could always pull titers on the horse to determine immunity before vaccinating. I do this with all my pets rather than over-vaccinate them, because my 9 month old puppy developed a malignant sarcoid as a result of vaccinations.
I WOULD vaccinate an older horse, because it will be much worse for the horse if he does get strangles, and vaccine induced strangles are generally pretty mild. Also, if you are moving him to a different location, and that location has had strangles within the past year, he will likely come down with it from exposure to the soil.
And remember, just because a horse has had strangles once, does NOT mean he cannot get it again, for the same reason that the vaccine is not completely effective. There are different strains, and it is always mutating itself to become resistant to the vaccine. Just like in people, you can get strep more than once (strangles is the streptococcous virus, very similar to strep in people. I got strep from my daughter's pony).
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:42 PM  
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There are different strains of strangles-just like the flu. Streptococcus Equii [I believe]
The strangles vaccine is a modified-live-not live.
They cannot get bastard strangles from that innoculation.
Bastard strangles generally results from a horse receiving antibiotics[from my readings] while the disease is coming on.
That is why I only give antibiotics to strangles cases after the putules burst and drain-for secondary infections. If they get treated with the antibiotics it can internalize and end up where it is a much larger problem than in the neck. i had a friend with a draftx who had abcesses burst out in his groin area and in his "armpits" It was a mess.
I routinely give older horses who are out and about showing the intranasal vaccine.
They may still get it but it will not be as hard on them. It really is tough on the young and the old.
As always I have to say the best thing to do is consult with your Vet. If your Vet is not making you feel confident-consult another one
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:58 PM  
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Our vets around here said that it would be easier to treat the horse if it came down with strangles then if it got sick from the shot with the live vaccination.
so we don't vacc for it.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:01 PM  
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I use the intranasal strangles vaccine and my vet said it’s a “modified live” vaccine, so they couldn’t actually get strangles from it, but they could develop some side effects like a runny nose for a few days.

I board my horse so I always use the vaccine.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:08 PM  
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Yeah there is only modifiied live.
The injectible one-I do NOT like,don't use it. Site reactions like you would not believe.
The intranasal is pretty innocuous.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:34 PM  
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Thanks all. The vet has already given it to him. I am going out to the barn tonight to check on him and if I have to I will stay there. What should I look for if he has a reaction.
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:09 PM  
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Did he give it as an injection or in his nose?
If he gave it in his nose, you probably will not see any kind of a reaction tonight. In the next week, he may, or may not, come down with a runny nose.
If he gave an injection, the site may swell. or you may not find anything. Some horses have a reaction, some don't. If there is a swollen place, you can make it feel a little better and help it go down by applying a warm washcloth. You will need to keep soaking it in warm water as it cools, and it will make him feel better.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:46 PM  
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He gave him a nasal vaccine. He seemed fine when I left tonight. No swelling or redness in the area and no runny nose. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks for all your help!

Oh yea, on a good note, the vet was very impressed with my gelding. He is in excellent healthy except for a few pounds he needs to lose but then again, don't we all. He asked what we would be doing with him and the barn guy told him that probably pleasure riding and maybe competitive barrels. He gave a huge thumbs up for that even though he is so big. He also said he would make a great roping horse which I have never thought about. Maybe I can go rope some fence posts tomorrow.
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