Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Bad reaction to vaccination
Q: Last year my young mare suffered a nasty reaction after her annual vaccination against equine flu and tetanus.

I noticed the day after she was very depressed and found it difficult to move her neck. The symptoms worsened over the next few days so that she could not even bend her head down to graze. Can you offer any suggestions about why she might have suffered this reaction and how I can prevent this happening again?

A: Every year there are many horses that have bad reactions to vaccination. This reaction may well be to some of the chemicals in the vaccine that are needed to make it work more effectively.

It could also be due to an excessive reaction to the virus particles in the vaccine. Whichever is the case it could be that it is unavoidable or that

Your vet will have recorded the batch number of your vaccine in the certification so that the manufacturer can check as to whether the batch has any problems. It is worth saying that much vaccination in the modern word is not necessary.

It is particularly important to avoid vaccination if your horse is ill with any other infectious diseases or is generally out of sorts. Flu vaccination is necessary for horse if they are competing but in your case you should not use vaccination for flu unless it is absolutely necessary.

Vaccination when you get such reactions can have many harmful side effects, which may produce problems in the future. In your case it should be sufficient to just give tetanus vaccination every two years.


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