Stiff and lethargic after vaccine

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by foxtrot, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    My horses got their vaccines last night and one of them is having some sort of reaction. He ate all his hay overnight, normal manure and drinking, and this morning he ate his grain and hay and drank normally, but he's very unhappy.

    His normal personality is totally subdued and he stands with his head at wither height, and paws at the ground once in a while. He seems to be able to move his head down to eat without issues but was reluctant to put it over his stall door like he normally does to get a treat (though he was interested in the treat so his appetite seems normal). It seems to take him a great effort to swing his head around to shoo flies off his sides.

    I called my vet and he said this sort of reaction is normal and as long as he keeps eating/drinking/pooping he should be recover in a day or so. But I'm a worrier and am wondering if there's anything I can do to or if it's just a "wait it out" thing. Banamine maybe or is that overkill? I try to avoid giving painkillers and don't have any on hand but could go buy some easily enough.
     
  2. Alyssa Hughes

    Alyssa Hughes Full Member

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    You will have to wait it out. Just make sure he drinks/eats/poops normal. I'd just make sure it doesn't get worse.
     
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  3. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Yup, relatively normal reaction. I would make a note of what vaccinations he received so you can be prepared next time. If he got multiple vx, it sometimes helps to space them out.

    In the meantime, some banamine wouldn't hurt. I tend to give one or maybe 2 doses to get them over the worst of it. Pain and discomfort can lead to colic so I'd prefer they were more comfortable. You might double check with the vet on that, especially in regards to dosage since your kids are small.
     
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  4. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    I thought about keeping him separated since I didn't want the others to pick on him (he's low man on the totem pole on a good day) but I actually wonder if the others kinda herding him around and keeping him moving is good for him due to the colic risk? I've seen conflicting stuff on if moving actually helps or not. I know in the old days it was standard to not let a colicky horse lay down ever but I think that's since changed... In any case he isn't laying down, just stands with his head hanging a lot.

    He got the a 5 in 1 vaccine... the vet said I might try a different brand next time or else giving vaccines separately and spaced apart rather than doing a 5 way. I've always just done the combo vaccines and he's had combos the last 2 years I've had him but I don't remember the brands on those, ugh.

    I think I will go buy some banamine and give him a little if he's still miserable tonight. The vet did say banamine might help and I'll double check dosage. It's just very stressful!
     
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  5. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    My horse did the same thing this year. He was back to normal within a week. Keep him cool, quiet and just monitor his discomfort and vitals. He should be fine. Give some bute if he is really uncomfortable
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Get the 3way and the West Nile and whatever else you need vaccinated for, in separate shots.
    It is normal to have lethargy and a stiff neck for a few days as a mild reaction.
     
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  7. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Poor guy! Which one is it? You know I love your herd and I hate seeing an uncomfortable pony!
     
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  8. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    It's the brown one, Sonny... he is a bit of a drama queen in general, if he feels even slightly off he gets very sluggish and withdrawn, so I can't tell if it's really that bad or if he's just sulking. I feel so sorry for the little bean though. :(

    I've kept an eye on him all day--he's dozed standing a few times and has been roaming around with his buddies but you can just tell he's miserable and doesn't want to move his head.

    [​IMG]

    I'll definitely have to do this next time.. I've had a lot of horses vaccinated in my life and haven't had one with a reaction like this til now. I had one a long time ago with an ouchy neck but he wasn't very hindered, and I've seen a little swelling at the injection site, but not full on lethargy and stiffness. I definitely won't get this brand again next time though and will split up his vaccination schedule...
     
  9. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    Gonna keep updating til he's better...

    Tonight, he's no better but no worse either. I let them on the grass for their nightly 20 minutes and he definitely wanted the grass. He would graze for a bit but then would have to lift his head and rest for a while. He ate all his pellets and drank a lot but he's still so stiff. The worst part for him is that he can't use his head to scratch his sides or legs or shoo flies. One of his legs apparently itched and he was going crazy trying to reach it til he figured out how to stretch it super far in front of him so he could reach.

    I hung his hay net extra low so he doesn't have to raise or lower it to eat. He ate about half and then went to sleep which is his normal routine, but I think he's too stiff to lay down and that's part of why he's so agitated and keeps pawing. Hopefully his stiffness is better tomorrow.

    This is the position he keeps his head in.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Have you talked to the vet regarding bute or banamine?
     

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