This will be a little lengthy. We have 2 pregnant mares who have been in a closed herd situation. Baxter is 8 months and Allie is 6 1/2 months. Other than Baxter at 5 months (Allie was at trainer's and got a virus)I have not given Pneumabort because there is no traffic at my place and my vet felt that it was not necessary and I agree, why vaccinate for a virus that they won't be exposed to. However one thing I did specifically ask her was if in order for the Pneumabort to be effective did I need to do 5, 7, and 9 months anyway, just in case we did get a new horse in the spring and she said no, that I could give the shots prior to a new horse coming in and they would be effective. This vet is an equine vet and also breeds horses. She is the type who likes to save her clients money (almost to a fault). Although I will state that my decision not to vaccinate was not based on finances, it was based on not seeing a need. So now my friend is bringing her colt in. He has not been at a high traffic place but there has been a new horse come in in the last week who was at a sales barn. Neither are sick at this point, but I thought to be on the safe side I would vaccinate the mares with Pneumabort (Baxter has missed the 7 month one and Allie has had none)so I called the new vet (the vet from the previous paragraph has gotten a job as a racing stable's personal vet)who said that because Baxter missed the 7 month shot that it is doubtful that she will be protected and that Allie would probably be OK but would have to have a shot immediately and then monthly in order to be protected???? This vet is a large animal vet with the bulk of the practice being horses and also breeds horses. He likes to get to you spend your money. So which one is right? My understanding is that Pneumabort protects against EHV-1 which is a virus. So if we have only one new arrival I want to protect them against anything he might be carrying but why would I be concerned about 3 months from now? Please help me sort this out. How I have left it with the vet is that the receptionist is going to find out if there's any point to doing the shots at all if Baxter won't be protected from anything the colt might be carrying anyway.
Jos Posted From: 220.127.116.11
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 03:36 pm:
My personal feelings are that mares should receive the immunization period. One of the problems with EHV-1 is that although it is also a respiratory virus that can transmitted by aerosol action (i.e. one horse sneezing on another) there is also the possibility of an infected horse sneezing on you, and you then transferring the virus to the mare. You will not be infected yourself, but the virus-contaminated aerosol droplets on your jacket will be able to transfer the virus for a limited amount of time folling their placement there. So if one is not planning on innoculating because "it is a closed herd", there must also be no human contact with other horses followed by contact with one's own animals shortly after.
Enough of that... now on to your present conundrum:
The EHV-1 vaccine is capable of offering about 60 days protection. If a previous immunization was given (i.e. at 5 months or pregnancy) then there will an increased antibody titre level in the mare, and that level will be boostered following reimmunization. If there was no previous immunizatin given, you are dealing with a lowered level of resistance with a single immunization. I believe this is what your second veterinarian is meaning by being "not protected". There will be reduced level of protection with the late immunization, but the antibody levels will increase gradually. If however the new animal has been introduced in to the environment, the antibody levels may rise too late to prevent infection of the mare.
WRT to your being worried about protection 3 months from now... EHV-1 has the ability to have a latent effect (i.e. will remain in the system) and cause abortions as much as 4-5 months after infection. Hence, even if your mare appears healthy now, she may abort later. If you have minimal or no protection because you did not immunize your mare at 5 months, then immunize now and there may be insufficient antibody levels to prevent infection. That infection may or may not become active. If it remains in a latent state, it may resurface later (after the 60-day protective period) and become active later and cause a later-term abortion.
Overall generalized message? Immunize with the suitable vaccine (Pneumabort-K or Prodigy) at 5, 7 and 9 months as a minimum. If you are in a high-risk area, immunize also at 3 months. If the mare has shown no indication of foaling by 11 months, re-immunize again then.
If you are already past the initial immunization period (3 or 5 months) then immunize immediately and get onto the 60-day schedule.
Rooty Posted From: 18.104.22.168
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 - 04:07 pm:
They are not likely to catch the virus off a person in my situation. Thanks for the information, that's a lot clearer now.
Rooty Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 09:50 am:
I did some research on EHV-1 and Pneumabort when Allie had her virus (nasal swab was negative for EHV-1 in the end)and it was stated in a couple of different articles that Pneumabort does NOT protect against latent infection, only initial infection. I will see if I can find those articles again.
You may wish to do some reading regarding optimum health, natural immunity, and the controvery regarding vaccinations. Although the standard practice has been to immunize mares at 5,7 and 9 months many are not aware that you don't actually prevent Rhino to which most likely your horses have already been exposed. The shots are used in hopes of controlling outbreaks. Rhino is a herpes virus and once acquired is always present. Remember that no vaccination is 100% effective and all do have potential long term side effects which are not known. Keeping your horse in optimum health and a low stress environment will do far more to prevent illnes and abortion than vaccinations. I recommend reading up on vaccinosis.
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