I've always been a huge proponent of my veterinarian giving my horses vaccines. No matter how many times I hear about all the money I can save by doing it myself, I always opt to have my vet come out and administer all vaccines. I just don't want to take the risk that something will happen and the vet isn't there.
Last fall, however, the BO gave Lilly her vaccines and I was terribly nervous that something might go wrong. Thankfully, nothing happened and all was well. She received E/W encephalomyelitis, Rhino, Flu, and tetanus.
This year there seemed to be some confusion at the barn regarding the vaccines. Since the BO had given the vaccines in the fall, I assumed she would be giving the vaccines again this spring. When time kept passing, I emailed her to find out what she was planning. Even if the BO wasn't going to give the vaccines herself, I figured we would have the vet do all the horses at once to save on the farm call. That's when I found out that the vet had already come out and had given rabies to all her horses, but she didn't ask the vet to give Lilly her rabies vaccine. When I asked her about it, she said she thought I had told her not to... I know the rabies has to be given by the vet, so I'm not sure why she would skip Lilly, but no big deal. That's why I had the vet out last weekend to give Lilly her rabies and strangles.
I still hadn't heard anything from her regarding the rest of the vaccines so I asked again. The Bo said her hubby was going to get the 5-way shots for all the horses this past weekend and give them shortly. Since Lilly just had tetanus, I didn't want her getting another one, so I asked if they could get Lilly a 4-way, plus west nile. (For some reason, they aren't big on giving west nile, and I'm not sure why...) They weren't able to find anything without tetanus and everyone was out of west nile, so they didn't get any vaccines for Lilly.
I knew my vet was coming back out to the barn on Friday to do some work on the BO's horse, so I gave her a call to inquire about getting the rest of Lilly's vaccines. We talked for a while about each one and I mentioned that I was interested in splitting them up as much as we could because of the reaction Lilly had to the rabies vaccine last Saturday. She was mortified that I didn't call her to let her know how awful Lilly was feeling. She said that kind of a reaction isn't normal and she would have come out right away to give Lilly some Banamine. I feel horrible that I didn't call to let her know. She's going to report the reaction to her office so they can let the manufacturer know. She said they see more reaction to rabies than any other vaccine and that they also see a lot of reactions with the Flu/Rhino vaccine. So the plan is to give the EE/WE and west nile on Friday when she's out (since we're getting late into the season), and then come back and give the Flu/Rhino a few days later.
So for spring vaccines, she'll get E/W encephalomyelitis, rhino, flu, west nile, rabies, and strangles. Normally I do tetanus in the spring, but since she had it in the fall, I don't want her to get it again. I think I'll just start giving it in the fall since she already gets so many spring vaccines.
She mentioned how it's always better to have a veterinarian give the vaccines just in case the horse has a reaction and I completely agree. I told her last fall was the first time I had someone other than a vet give my vaccines and I'll never do it again. My understanding with vaccines purchased in store and online is that you're not afforded any protection should something happen to your horse. My vet mentioned that if your horse abscesses at the injection site, for example, and needs to be taken to the clinic, the manufacturer will pay a large portion of that vet bill as long as the vaccine was administered by a licensed veterinarian. She mentioned Pfizer specifically... Otherwise, you're on your own if something happens.
From now on I'm going to schedule my own appointments with my veterinarian and not wait around for anyone else. I'm curious how many of you do your own vaccines, though, and if you've ever had an issue.