Vaccinations are not easy on horses. There are toxins in the vaccines that are added to bring out a strong response from the immune system.
If the immune system is already taxed then it can be overwhelmed trying to respond to the vaccine. This would be like asking a person to run a sprint immediately after running a marathon.
I also have concerns about vaccinating an older horse who may already have a compromised immune system. These horses may not only have a weak immune system but they are also less likely to handle the toxins in the vaccine because their liver and kidneys may be compromised.
It is very important to only vaccinate healthy horses so let's look at some conditions that would make you pause before giving any vaccine.
Chronic conditions that can be aggravated by vaccination:
* Skin allergies
* Respiratory issues such as heaves
* Skin tumors
* Old age – over 20 years is a good guide point
If you do decide to vaccinate, then there are some things you can do to help your horse have the best response with the least negative reactions. You want to support the immune system and the detox organs of the body, the gut, liver and kidneys. You will want to pick a time when your horse is not under extra stress and be sure and give him several days off after the vaccination.
Supportive measures for vaccination:
* Probiotics such and KLPP or Pre Pro for gut support
* Natural Vit C such as Citrus C/Q given for 3 weeks following vaccination
* Milk Thistle and dandelion leaf for liver and kidney support
* Several days of light or no work
Even with precautions some healthy horses will have ill effects for vaccination. Immediate fever and neck soreness will generally resolve within a few days. Deeper immune stress can take several months to show up. Watch for the development of any chronic condition. Some horses can have behavior changes and act lethargic while others can get nervous and agitated. If any of these chronic conditions appear seek the help of a homeopath to help you treat your horse.
If you decide your horse is not a good candidate for vaccination you are not condemning him to certain death. While some diseases can be fatal, others are very treatable. West Nile Virus can be successfully treated with supportive care and homeopathy. The same support measures used following vaccination can also be used to support the horse to resist infection. If you educate yourself about your options you can trust you will make the best decision for you and your horse.
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