Horsing Around Vaccines 101

(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsing Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center and today we’re gonna talk about vaccines when it comes to combination vaccines. Safety of the vaccines, administering the vaccines and what type of vaccines when you go and buy them, to things to look for in those vaccines. I think that initially you know, one of the biggest things a lot of horse owners ask me about is combination vaccines. Are they as effective as individually giving those vaccines to your horse? Cause we all know there’s the five-way, the six-way, even a seven-way vaccine and how effective is that vaccine? Because maybe it’s a little bit cheaper than buying those individually. In addition, we don’t have to poke your horse as much with the vaccines if they’re already in a combination. And a lot of those combination vaccines are as say, a pretty good safety aspects or measures when giving it to your horse. And they do build up good immunity. However, there is some newer research that says or has altered towards having West Nile vaccine in its own separate type of vaccine when you’re giving it to your horse. And so I think, discuss with your veterinarian before you buy vaccines or administering to them to figure out what’s the best combination of vaccines to go with. Again, the combination vaccines are pretty effective in
boosting a good immune system. But maybe having a separate West Nile and other aspects as you discuss with your veterinarian is something to think about when it comes to combination vaccines. And sometimes being a little bit cheaper, may not building up enough of an immune system for your horse. So, think about those things as you’re developing, buying vaccines in the Spring and figuring out what’s the best case for your horse in those combinations of vaccines you can give. The other thing would be as you buy vaccines is to always look at the serial number and expiration of the vaccine. So, look on the bottles, look on the packaging, making sure that you’re not buying expired products. Anything that’s expired then, its aspect of how effective some of the vaccines are could be in question. So, making sure you’re not getting expired vaccines. Or if you have vaccines already bought from last season, are they still effective? Look at the expiration and knowing how and where to store vaccines is always very important. It should be refrigerated. Kept cool. And the other thing is, when you buy vaccines, who are you buying them from? Are they keeping those vaccines in a controlled environment? Did they warm up, then they put ’em back in the cooler? And how effective are those vaccines after they warm up is always in question. So, knowing your supplier or who you’re buying the vaccines for and making sure those vaccines are stored properly so then they’re effective for your horse, is also very important. So, you get that based on the expiration and discussing with your veterinarian or your supplier how they’re controlling or their control measures of keeping those vaccines safe and supplied correctly is also something to always remember. Also, remember whenever you’re giving vaccines, it’s always deep IM, so deep in the muscle when you give IM injections to your horse. Inch and a half length needles when you give those. Sharp needles are also very important. And a fresh needle per horse is also very important. You do not want to reuse needles between horses. You can always transfer diseases from one horse to the other by trying to reuse needles when you’re vaccinating your horse. So, that’s a quick little rendition of safety of vaccines and what to look for when you’re buying vaccines whether through your veterinarian that you can discuss with, or through different suppliers of different vaccines that are out there. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center with Horsing Around. And we’ll see you around.

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