Wednesday, May 5, 2010

West Nile Recall

Intervet Previnile West Nile is definitely being recalled because it is causing anaphylactic shock and death in a number of horses. I completed an interview with the Intervet company. The company is only recalling the West Nile vaccine but couldn't tell me if the anti-virus itself or the adjuvant was the problem. Nor could she tell me if the adjuvant was the same in all of Intervet vaccines. A horse in Fountain died immediately after receiving the Prevenile West Nile vaccine. This is a tough deal.Since most horses who have a severe enough anaphylaxis reaction to die have had a smaller, sometimes unnoticeable reaction before I can't help but wonder what will happen to the horses who received this shot this year but didn't have a visible reaction.Pass it on.


  1. This is awful :( Really, really awful.

    When the West Niles scare happened a couple of years ago and all the stables demanded that the horses get the vaccine (insurance was demanding it), regardless of age or condition, two of the horses at my stable that were pregnant ended up having problems. One mare (her second foal) aborted her foal about three weeks after she received the shot and another mare (it would have been her 5th foal, and all the others had been born healthy) ended up giving birth to a colt born with no eyes. It was put down, of course, but the whole thing infuriated me. The stables nearby had an 22 year old gelding die within a week of receiving it, and he had been fairly healthy up until that point. The vets claimed that it was all not related, but it was a fairly small barn, and nothing like that has happened before then or since then. I just don't trust that da** West Niles Vaccine.

    Sorry if I seem amped up, but this kind of thing gets to me--- those poor owners. It's not like they lost their horses because of negligence--- they lost their horses because they were going out of the way to do the right thing. It's depressing.

  2. Oh geez. Good to know. I hope word gets out quickly. This is the first I've heard.

    I've actually been debating giving my mare the WN vaccine this year. I always did when I was in Ft Collins but here in Cheyenne there aren't nearly so many mosquitos and it seems that once the initial wave goes through there aren't nearly as many cases. So the potential costs didn't seem worth the benefits (same with heartworm and the dogs.) Now she's in a pasture with a slough/pond and I'm expecting mosquitos to start popping up soon. I had almost decided to give it to her but this isn't helping me make a decision.

  3. We haven't given WN vaccine for years. I'd feel bad if I lost one to the virus, but I'll take my chances. We have friends that had a mare have a reaction two years in a row. We also have a friend that raises minis. He was about to sell a group of 25 mares to a research facility (not judging him for that). They came out & ran a bunch of bloodwork on them. They ended up not taking any of the mares, because they ALL tested positive as to having had the vaccine. Not one of them had, they'd obviously been exposed to WN and had survived.

    I'm leary of vaccines the way it is, and this worries me more. I feel so bad for the owners who were just trying to protect their horses.

  4. Huh. My horse coliced about 3 days after his WN vaccine, having never seriously coliced before. I'm not sure which one the vet used, but I'm going to check into it. Not that I can do anything about it, given that he's already had the shot, but it'd be good to know. He's on anti-biotics for a cough/cold now, but I haven't seen the colic symptoms come back.

  5. DeeDee ( 5, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Friends, In fairness, let me announce first that I am very suspcious of vaccines. That said, I have been most suspicious of the West Nile Viris vaccine since its incetion. I rememebr a lot of foals being aborted or born deformed from previously healthy mares. And breeding mares and stallions hoemone balances being wiped out for breeding purposes.

    I recommend doing what you can to enhance the horses' immune systems. One of the things I do is feed the Bug Check supplement from Dr Dan Moore, the natural equine vet. It has Garlic, food grade Diatenaceous erth, extra Vit B and other stuff that build immunity and also thickens the veins making it harder for the misqutoes to get a meal off the horse. Seems to it kills the ticks, too, but I don't know why. I just find dead ticks on him instead of live ticks.

    I also recommend supplementing with product, APF.

    Since West Nile is a virus, not a bacteria, antibiotics won't help - like they don't help when we get the flu.

    If you are vaccinating, consider giving extra Vit C sevral days before, during and after the injection to support the immune system to deal with the vaccine attack. This applies to any vaccination - especially the 3,4 and way ones.

    This is too remenicient of the speed to produce the H1N1 vaccine that negatively affected a lot of people. Or the Guardisil vaccine that affected many of the young girls that got it.

    Oh yuck. I need to stop typing and go hug my horse.
    I hope what I have said is useful to someone.

  6. It was so strange; over the weekend we saw that our Paint was very lethargic & lame on all 4 feet, almost laminitically (not a word, I know!). Our best guess is that it was a reaction to one of his vaccinations - the boys got their spring shots at the end of last week. My best friend said that both her & her husband (a farrier) have seen horses have bad reactions to vaccinations that includes going very lame. He's on the mend now, but I'd never had anything like that happen before. Then we heard about the vaccine recall early this week & I had to check & see if that was the kind they got. Apparently it's not, but now I am VERY nervous about the next time we give WN vaccine. We live in Iowa & are originally from Minnesota, so definitely a high risk area. These are the sucky parts of being a horse owner.

  7. A horse at our barn had some sort of reaction after everyone had their spring shots, including Prevenile about a month ago. His whole neck and head swelled up so that is was uncomfortable for him to bend his neck or move his head too much, poor boy. Vet prescribed an antibiotic over the phone thinking the injection site maybe got I'm wondering!He was better after a couple of days, and all the other horses who had their west nile shot were fine. Scary though :(

  8. I interviewed the Intervet spokesperson yesterday and today.
    One of my primary concerns is most anaphylactic shock comes after an initial small allergic reaction.
    I asked her if this meant the horses that didn't react this year might die if given the shot again next year.
    She couldn't answer me.
    Colic and/or respitory distress are also reactions they're getting reports on.

  9. Calm down folks! First of all, a foal being born with no eyes was NOT a vaccine reaction, unless the vaccine was given within a few weeks of the mare conceiving. The no-eyed foal was a birth defect that had to have happened almost immediatly after conception.

    I am the pharmacy manager in a very large equine vet hospital. We have only had about three cases of vaccine reaction related to west nile in the last year. Of course, we don't use this particular vaccine, we use the Fort Dodge variety.

    A lot of horse problems get blamed on vaccines, many of which aren't related. A typical vaccine reaction is a swollen vaccination site, fever, and lethargy. In a few horses, it can cause laminitis (to the person with the horse with four sore feet-you might want to have those feet x-rayed and treat him as if he's foundered.). In very rare cases, it causes anaphalactic shock, which usually occurs within an hour of getting the vaccine.

    I still vaccinate my horses and my dogs. But I try to do it intelligently. I only vaccinate for two or three things at a time, and I spread them out over about a month and a half time. That way, if I have a reaction, I know which vaccine has caused it, and I can decide from there if I want to continue giving it. I used to have a horse that was a BAD reacter, so I only gave him the vaccines for diseases that could kill him. He got EWT/WN/Rabies, and that was it.

    I am amazed that the Intervet rep wasn't more knowledgeable about the issue with the vaccine. They are really making themselves look bad. Glad I don't carry any Intervet products right now. :)

  10. My old horse had a reaction the first time I gave the wnv. He was lethargic and didn't want to eat much. Since then he's been fine and we have to give the shots here. He did have a reaction with the rabies shots though. His legs would stock up every time. The vet changed companies and I no longer have the problem

  11. In the past my mare had always received the Fort Dodge WNV vaccine, and always had a reaction (local swelling, fever, lethargy, etc.). This year she had the Prevenile and no reaction at all! If I had received the recall notice sooner, I probably would have held off anyway.

    I think perhaps in the future I will have my vet do a blood titer for WNV and see if I can avoid the vaccine altogether

  12. Unfortunately, the mare in question (that ended up with the no-eyed foal) had been vaccinated shortly after being bred (not sure when... 1 month 2? The owner wasn't thrilled about it, but at the time the insurance companies were threatening the stables, and most of the stables in our area were giving you the choice of

    A: Vaccinate with the West Niles vaccine or

    B: Find a new place for your horse.

    That said, I just can't seem to get over my own personal dislike of the West Niles vaccine, but I will be honest and admit that it's based on my own personal experience and not any scientific data. I was frustrated with it at the time (if the threat is fairly new, then how in the world could they have monitored the long-term reactions to the vaccine?) Watching the owners of the two mares deal with the tragedies just a couple rows down from myself really hit home. The chances of both horses with healthy histories (with no subsequent problems that I know of) having unexplained reproductive disasters the same year the new vaccine was introduced... I don't think I'll ever be able back a stables' decision to force vaccines on breeding stock.

    I'm also leery about vaccines in general--- If I owned I woudl still give them, but I've never forgive that STUPID 5-way vaccine that caused an reaction/abscess/ and eventual huge divot where it ate the muscle of my mare's neck. She had such a pretty neck, too :(

    And that is my totally unscientific two cents.

  13. misfit- thanks for your sane input. I feel the rep was dodging me more than lacking information. I'll more than likely get the real truth when I get the USDA report.
    The whole point of the prevenile was it was something like 97% reaction free.
    Fort Dodge causes reactions, but not death.
    I'm still vaccinating, but I'm going with Fort Dodge.

  14. Very interesting input here.

    When we first started vaccinating for WN, the vet had to give the shot. Then the next year, we could purchase it from the vet...then it became available from the feed stores.

    The brand that's available here locally is Merial Inc's Recombitek-WNV where you have the powder in one vial and the liquid in the other and have to mix them. Well, the first time we used this brand, my older QH got the shakes and bumps all over his body (definitely from the WN) and we had to give him dexamethasone. He was OK after a short period of time.

    The following year, my vet suggested I give him the dex and the WN. His reaction wasn't as severe, but I've decided not to vaccinate him for WN and just take my chances.

    None of my other horses or burros have ever had a reaction. It definitely is a scary situation and hard to know if the decisions you are making are the best.

  15. On April 17th My 7 year old Tobiano Curly Gelding recieved all his vaccinations. On the morning of the 18th I noticed his neck had swollen extremly in the vaccination site. I called the Vet Imeadiatley.

    At this time the Vaccine had not been recalled yet. The vet had us put the horse on bute and rest. A week later the swelling was still there and the vet was suppose to come look at it. The horse choked the day before the vet was suppose to come. I asked my vet what to do and she simply said equine mash for a week and anitbotics.

    He choked again a week later and my wife took him to the U of MN. They removed the choke and tried asking for some ballon Dialation treatments for stricture. But what about the Swelling in his neck.

    I got a hold of a Previnile vet and they talked to the U of MN vet it was like the two were working together ignoring the swelling on the neck that appeared the day after his vaccines.

    I removed him from the U of MN Car and moved him up to a vet in Northern MN for a second opinon. The vet did waht I asked and performed an Ultra Sound and he agree'd the the swelling in his neck was caused by an adverse reaction. Plus the swelling was putting pressure on his Esophagus.

    Now almost two months later my horse is still up north the bills are high and the tension in our house (cause my wife let them get this high) could be cut with a knife. Still do not know if I will have a horse when it is all done.

    The U of MN is trying to act all perfect and claim they offered an Ultra Sound which they did not. Claim they did not Tell Previnile that they did not see how the vaccine could of caused this swelling.

    Now that I have proof of both the U of MN wrong doings and Previniles vaccine causing this neither wants to take blame or answer phone calls. I have decided to take this into a legal matter.

    I have had this horse since he was 6 months old and always had all his vaccines done every year in april and now look at where it has gotten me.

    Anyone with advice on the matter let me know.

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