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Hello everyone, I'm curious as to everyone's thoughts on annual vaccinations.

I was raised to vaccinate every year and having worked in a clinic always believed that was the best thing to do for my animals however over the last couple years my opinion of vaccines has changed. I'm on the fence about vaccines right now and just wondered what everyone else thinks.

Do you guys think we are over vaccinating our animals?
1x/year except for my horse who goes off property and exposed to outside horses; he gets summer boosters. West Nile has a year long vaccine efficacy; I can't recall the boosters mid year...maybe flu/rhino which vet didn't think were necessary for the 2 homebound.

I will check next round. Just paid for the wellness program for this year to include yearly dental. Boy, that hurt...but saved $ in the long run.
Yes, I DO think we are over vaccinating animals, though probably dogs more than horses. I suspect a good number of immune disorders are due to the fact that people now vaccinate for everything under the sun, never mind what the probability is of their horse coming down with it.

As I understand it, there are tests that will show if an animal still has immunity for certain things, but these tests are almost always more expensive than just getting the yearly vaccinations, which is why most of us just continue to do that.

I didn't have time to write everything in my first post but I to believe we are over vaccinating.

EZ...the tests done to determine immunity are called titres. I had a rabies titre done last year on Mannie. It was the only one available and was much more expensive then the shot but I wanted to minimize vaccines and also wanted to see what the results were. My vets comments were that his immunity was very high and no need to be vaccinated.

I've been researching vaccines for years since having a horse with head shakers. They believe head shakers can be caused by over vaccinating and now I have a horse that has COPD at an extremely young age. I also think that alot of the immune diseases are caused by over vaccinating. It's a contraversal subject but an interesting one.

My friend's horse who has Uveitis does not get vaccinated. The vet refuses to vaccinate him because any trauma to the immune system can cause a flar up. He is also naturally dewormed as that causes a distrubtion to his system as well.

I am still debating what to do this year for vaccines but I am strongly leaning towards not vaccinating. I feel he will still be immune to everything he was vaccinated for over and over in the last few years. Mannie also has an issue with his nerves. He's very sensitive when tacking up. He's on a herb to help with it. If anyone wants to hear more about that I can explain but it was diagnosed as a nerve issue from the herpes virus. Either he was exposed to the herpes virus at some point or the vaccines have caused some lingering affects. He has several issues that I believe would benefit from not being vaccinated but part of me still thinks what if he's not immune...what if!! I don't show and I do run into other horses occasionally on our trail rides but they never come in contact. Any horses I ride with are friends horses that are kept on their own property so I think the risk of him getting something are low.
Sorry if that was long winded:0
I also wanted to mention that we did Mannie's vaccines in the winter last year since his COPD acts up in early spring. We also spread them out. The vet gave a couple and 2 weeks later we gave one. I was trying to minimize the assult to his system. The reason I'm asking about vaccines now is because I was going to do him in Feb this year if I was going to vaccinate.
It sounds like you are figuring out what is best for your horse!

I do think vaccinations MIGHT have something to do with uveitis, but there are so many causes of this, that it would be hard to prove. My horses get vaccinated every year, for tetanus, encephalitis, west nile, rhino, and flu in early spring. A lot of people I know vaccinate for a good many more things than this.

Hi EZ, sorry I didn't mean to imply that vaccines were the cause of Uveitis but more that they can trigger an episode.

I am just trying to figure out what's best for Mannie and I'm still leary to not vaccinate but am leaning in that direction. Mannie usually would get flu, rhino, west nile, tetnus and rabies although last year no rabies since his titre level was high.

Thanks for your input.
I've had horses my entire life. Once I hit adulthood and had a job my horses were faithfully vaccinated annually.

Looking back, there are a few of us longtime/older horsemen who now doubt just how wise that was.

I have four horses. They are considered an isolated herd due to where we live and the fact that I haven't taken them anywhere in a horse trailer since 2006.

Two of them have metabolic issues and the vet will not vaccinate them, except for rabies, for fear of elevating their insulin and triggering founder.

Everyone did get a rabies shot in 2011. The vet said the adjuvant in a rabies vaccine is very safe plus, he shot everyone in the butt to help minimize reactions. Which three of the four had the punies to some degree or another.

My 24 yr old with Equine Metabolic Syndrome had the worst reaction but he has been sensitive all his life to many things. He absolutely could never tolerate even half tablet of bute and he always used to get the bare minimum of Happy Juice to get his teeth floated.

I asked the vet about testing titre levels and he said it wasn't worth it.

For example, my 24 yr old with EMS could have the highest titre levels of my four but be the first one to get something because the EMS has weakened his immune system. So I didn't pay for the testing.

Even though my smallest dog weighs 75 lbs, all three are house dogs. No one has had shots since 2004 or 2005 because I worry about over-vaccinating.

I've lost three dogs to cancer, one of whom also had cushings. I have another one dealing with cushings and an inoperable tumor in his tummy right now.

So no, I am not giving shots anymore, except for rabies when the vet says it's time, which won't be this year.

If I were still able to hard trail ride and my horses would be exposed to someone else's sickly/not-very-well-cared-for-horse, I would vaccinate for whatever my vet said would be prudent.
I agree about over vaccinating animals in general...and would like to do the minimum (west nile, tetnus, rabies). But as Walkinthealk pointed out, it is protection against exposures to others. Seems many vacs are combined...probably you have a choice but cheaper to do the combo shots.

For my dog with lupus, I only do a yearly rabies titer, it satisfies licensing/animal control. 3 yrs and titer still ok. Vaccinate the other...she's a wild one and into everything.
Do you not think that the immunity lasts longer then 1 yr? My horse has been vaccinated every year since I've had him and I'm sure he was vaccinated before then as well. From what I've read it seems immunity lasts longer then a year but it seems like a grey area and no one knows for sure so that's why I'm still a little scared to not vaccinate this year. It's not that I won't vaccinate ever again just not every year.

I'm at a small barn with 4 horses and a pony. No turn around of horses moving in or out and the people I ride with all have their horses on their property and no one shows. We all mostly trail ride at the same place and run into the same people week after week.

It's an interesting topic and I see some are minimizing vaccines.
Thanks for the input.

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