Flu Vac Side Effects

Jakes Mum

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Jake had his flu/tet booster yesterday morning, and when I went to turn him out this morning, it appears he has had a reaction to the vac which has caused him to have laminitis for the first time in his life :(

One of my yard owners horses had the same reaction from the flu vac some time ago too.

Just interested to hear what side effects, if any, have your horses had from the vaccines, are you aware what the side effects are and does it put a big question mark over whether it is worth your horse having the vaccine or not.

Jake is retired so never goes off the yard, all the other horses that do go off the yard have cover, so I am now thinking very very carefully about whether it is worth him having his booster next year or not as this incident has totally put me off :mad:
 

varkie

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Is he definitely suffering from laminitis? I ask, as up until recently a pony of mine was out on loan. He had his jabs while with his loanee, at the same time as her other horse, and both of them had reactions, which gave a very laminitic appearance. However, on being seen by the vet, the reaction was NOT laminitis, but rather stiffness/pain in the muscles of the chest & front legs - the jab had been given in the chest muscle.

Both have recovered fully, and my pony has come home to live with me again, and I do intend to have him vaccinated again next year, but definitely not in the chest! I shall also speak to the vet at the same time, and see whether they can give an anti-inflammatory or something at the same time to help prevent a reaction.
 

Jakes Mum

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Thanks for the reply varkie and sharing your experience :)

He had the 'typical laminitic stance' when I got him out the stable this morning, he had a bounding digital pulse and could hardly put any weight on his feet without him obviously being in alot of discomfort.

My fantastic farrier came out to him straight away, although my vets was my first call, he had a look at his feet for me and he was very very tender around his point of frog where the pedal bone is, just gentle thumb pressure was painfull for him.

So, all the symptoms are definately pointing towards laminitis although I do understand your point of the two possibly being confused and going for the obvious. He had his injection in his neck btw.

My farrier has used a technique he hasn't tried before to give him frog supports (he is barefoot so doesn't have shoes), so I have got everything crossed that his pedal bone doesn't rotate :(
 
Y

Yann

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How worrying for you, poor Jake :( I have read mention of flu vacs causing foot problems on the EE barefoot forum, but nothing as drastic as this. Rio had her booster recently, but there was no adverse reaction of any kind, and I've not heard of anything different at our yard at least. If he was at risk perhaps the jab was enough to upset his system and cause an attack? Hope he's soon better.
 

Jakes Mum

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Thanks Yann :) Was a total shock to me actually as I had never heard of laminitis as a side effect otherwise I would have certainly reconsidered letting him have the injection.

We have recently had to move yards (long story) because he had a nutrient overload from too much grass (4 days in the winter paddock, you know the one I mean) so whether he hadn't quite got that out of his system and this has just tipped him over the edge, there is know way of knowing.

His digital pulse has eased alot from this morning, although he is still very uncomfy when walking, but hopefully, we are heading in the right direction. My farrier is coming back again in the morning to check him over again. Everything possible to help him is being done, so all I can do is keep my fingers crossed :(
 

arabianbaby

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i honestly haven't researched the side effects of flu vaccine in horses... being a new horse mom there is only time to learn about so much at once. my instinct from what i know about dog vaccines and flu shots for people made me think it wasn't worthwhile. my vet flat out refuses to give them... says she believes it's malpractice. since i have worked with her for years and trust her that was enough.

so while i can't offer insight/experience i suggest you ask your vet specifically what strains of flu they are vaccinating for. and also what strains are prevalent in your area. my understanding is they update horse flu shots every 2yrs. typically the strains mutate each year so what they are protecting against are completely useless.
 
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Yann

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Hope he's soon back to normal, fingers crossed :) Do you supplement magnesium at all? It might be shutting the stable door after the event in this case, but it's meant to be very good for laminitics and extreme good doers.

I don't know how equine flu vacs compare with those for other species but apparently equine flu is pretty horrid, on balance it's possibly the lesser of two evils. Not only that but up to date flu and tets are mandatory on a lot of yards.
 

Jakes Mum

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arabianbaby - thanks for the reply, you sound as if you have a very good, responsible, understanding vet, you are so lucky, something we are very short of in this area, unfortunately. I have had a chat with the yard owner this morning (who has done 8 years in equine nursing) and she has no objections, after what has happened, to Jake not having another flu vac, especially with him never leaving the yard, so I think that is the route I am now going to take, I just can't risk putting him through this again, next time he might not be so lucky :(

Thanks for the magnesium recommendation Yann - last year I had a chat with one of the feed companys nutritionist about laminitis supplements and if they are worth feeding as a prevention, she said that the two most beneficial nutrients for laminitics are zinc and magnesium, and being as I was already feeding a broad spectrum supplement and devils claw I would be wasting my money as I wouldn't be giving him any more than I already was.

I went on Robert Eustaces website last night and have ordered him some formula4feet, so hopefully this will help :)

He is much improved today, his digital pulse is back to normal again and he is walking round now without planting his feet, although he isn't quite back to normal in himself yet, so after a few more days on box rest he hopefully will be back to his normal mischevious self :p
 

Loopslou

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mine always got the flu and tetanus combined and Flashie was a laminitic and never had any such side affects (thank god!) The only thing I was ever told was not to let them sweat up for 24 hours as that can cause muscle pain and stiffness so when mine get it they aren't worked for 48 hours (just to be on the safe side). Mine always get theirs in the neck although a horse that used to be on our yard, the owners cousin was a vet and he got the vaccine off him and gave it himself and because he didn't disperse it when it went into the neck the horses ended up with a large lump.
 

eventerbabe

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it is well known that vaccines can cause laminitis in cases of severe reaction. I'm always on red alert when my laminitic has her vaccines just incase..... Toby has had allergic reactions to the flu/tet vaccs in the past, the injection site swelled up badly and he had restricted movement of his neck but a few days on bute and applying hot and cold compresses took the swelling down.

Just to add, don't rush his recovery. if you've been on the Robert Eustace website you will know that even once free from pain and off drugs, a further 4 weeks box rest is advised. We have followed this advice with our mare (who's had stress and concussion induced laminitis). get x-rays of his feet too just to make sure of whats gone on with the pedal bone.
 
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artemis

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I have heard of reactions to vaccines before in laminitics, but not as severe as this. I don't give flu vaccine to my horses after severe reactions on previous occasions. I have read that it can be a problem also with horses with cushings, causing laminitis.
 

eventerbabe

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just out of curiosity, what technique is your farrier using as opposed to frog supports? i've found the laminitis clinics green spongey frog supports to be highly effective, particularly when they are responding to pressure at the tip of the frog.
 

Jakes Mum

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Thanks for the good advice eventerbabe :)

I went back onto the lamnitis clinic website again and ordered the frog supports you are talking about, definately an essential item for anyones first aid kit.

The method he used was:-

A small piece of thin polystyrene sheet cut to the exact size of the base of the foot.
This was taped in place but leaving a very small hole between the polystyrene and sole so that a gel could be squeezed into the gap that sets into a gel pad the exact shape required, making a unique 'lily pad'.

Vet wrap was then applied to hold everything in place, with tape on top. I just keep having to put extra tape on the toes where it keeps wearing through.

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense, it's a bit difficult to explain, hope you can understand what I have written :)
 

eventerbabe

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wow! never heard of that method, but it sounds really interesting! sorry for being nosey but owning a laminitic i'm always interested in other treatment methods. our vet tends to stick religiously to the laminitis clinics methods. it works but theres always more than one way to skin a cat so to speak!
 

Bebe

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I've heard of this as a side effect, though never seen it. So sorry to hear that Jake has been unfortunate and is suffering it though.

There are very few, if any, balancers or supplements on the market that provide enough magnesium for a truly deficient horse, not even the magnesium supplements tend to! A typical horse will need 5g on top of whatever they're already getting and some horses with metabolism problems (rather than just grazing land that's deficient in it) may need up to 15g per day to balance them out. If you check labels on supplements it's rare that they provide this amount in a kg, never mind the couple of hundred grams fed per day. It may well be worth supplementing (human tablets can be given if you don't want to buy a sack of it), Vit B1 fed alongside it during the first few days of an attack has shown good results too.
 

sidesaddlelady1

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Jakes Mum said:
Jake had his flu/tet booster yesterday morning, and when I went to turn him out this morning, it appears he has had a reaction to the vac which has caused him to have laminitis for the first time in his life :(

One of my yard owners horses had the same reaction from the flu vac some time ago too.

Just interested to hear what side effects, if any, have your horses had from the vaccines, are you aware what the side effects are and does it put a big question mark over whether it is worth your horse having the vaccine or not.

Jake is retired so never goes off the yard, all the other horses that do go off the yard have cover, so I am now thinking very very carefully about whether it is worth him having his booster next year or not as this incident has totally put me off :mad:

For goodness sake take your vet's advice on this rather than relying on our largely unqualified opinions
 
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Yann

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Sidesaddlelady, that's a bit unfair, Jake's Mum was only asking for other people's experiences, not veterinary advice.
 

Jakes Mum

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Thanks everyone for your valued input and advice :)

Jake has made fantastic progress and is now sound. My vet said he could be turned out after five days if he had recovered, but, just to be on the safe side, I am leaving him on box rest until at least Saturday after my farrier has been to remove the frog supports and check him over again for me, I will then take if from there.

He is being walked for 10 minutes every 2 hours (throughout the day) to increase the blood supply to his feet and he is in a 14' x 14' stable so does have plenty of room to move around. He is now off his Danilon (unless he starts to show any signs of lameness again) so when my farrier comes to check him it will be out of his system and we will get a true reflection.

The other cases of laminitis from flu vacs that I know of, all lasted 24hours and were a 'flash in the pan' and no more re-occurance has happened. So fingers crossed this is the same for Jake, but from now on he will be very strictly managed as a laminitic case.

Thanks again everyone, and thanks Yann ;)
 
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