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After receiving a vaccine(s) intramuscularly, some horses experience local muscular swelling and soreness or transient, self-limiting signs including fever, anorexia and lethargy. Severe reactions at sites of injection can be particularly troublesome, requiring prolonged treatment and convalescence. Systemic adverse reactions (such as urticaria, purpura hemorrhagica or anaphylaxis) can also occur. Other systemic adverse reactions have been anecdotally reported.
Veterinarians should report adverse reactions to the vaccine’s manufacturer and/or the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics at 1-800-752-6255 or through the agency’s Web site.
Vaccine lot and serial numbers should be noted in horses’ vaccination records. The ability to provide this information when reporting an adverse reaction will facilitate an investigation.
Adverse reactions are not always predictable and are inherent risks of vaccination. Therefore, it is recommended that horses not be vaccinated in the 2 weeks prior to shows, performance events, sales or domestic shipment. Some veterinarians may elect not to vaccinate horses within 3 weeks of international shipment.
Injection site selection should include consideration of potential adverse reactions. Injection in the gluteal muscles/hip region is not recommended, as gravitational drainage along fascial planes can be obscured. Should an abscess develop, considerable tissue damage can occur and result in eruptions in undesirable locations with lesions that require prolonged time to heal.
The interval from vaccination to scheduled event or a predictable risk of exposure should be sufficient for:
It should be recognized that:
Therefore, veterinarians may elect to use a staggered schedule when multiple products are to be administered.
Vaccines should always be administered by, or under the direct supervision, of a veterinarian, as the possibility of adverse reactions (including anaphylaxis) exists with the administration of any vaccine.
©Copyright AAEP 2012
American Association of Equine Practitioners