With vaccines readily available at farm supplies stores, online pharmacies, and other retailers, it’s sometimes tempting to save a few dollars by purchasing and administering them to your animals yourself. However, there are often hidden risks and costs associated with vaccinating animals on your own, meaning these less expensive vaccines aren’t the value they first appear to be.
Did you know that many veterinarians will develop a customized vaccine program for your horse based on its environmental exposure and other factors? In addition, having your horse on the correct vaccination schedule allows the veterinarian to observe the animal regularly and detect early signs of a disease or disorder.
Coupled with other routine services and check-ups, having your veterinarian administer vaccines is always safer, easier, and a better value in the long run than doing it yourself. Here are several other good reasons why a veterinarian is your best choice for administering vaccines:
Many vaccines require special handling and storage. For instance, a particular vaccine may require protection from extremes of temperature or exposure to light to preserve its effectiveness. Rely on a licensed veterinarian to store and handle the vaccine properly. Another aspect of proper handling is also making sure that the vaccine has not passed its expiration date. Veterinarians are keenly aware of the effective life of a given vaccine.
Part of safe administration is a clean environment and injection site, otherwise you may be putting pathogens into your horse’s system instead of protecting against them.
Some vaccines cannot be given at the same time as other medicines. Your veterinarian will know which vaccines and medications may react with one another. Your veterinarian will document the vaccine’s serial number and administration date—especially important in the event of a manufacturer’s recall. This is one instance when poor documentation could put your animal in peril.
Any injection can result in adverse effects. Maybe it’s only mild swelling at the injection site. Or, it could be lethargy and a slight fever for one to two days. In some animals, it can be as severe as an immediate outbreak of hives or life-threatening anaphylaxis. If your veterinarian is administering the vaccine, he’ll know what to do to counteract a reaction and he’ll have the medicine to do it.
When you think about the risks of doing it yourself, it only makes good sense to have a licensed professional administer vaccines.
Many veterinarian administered vaccines carry an immunization guarantee that may provide financial support with diagnosis and treatment for those diseases. No over-the-counter vaccines offer guarantees.
Schedule Your Vaccines Today
Carolina Equine Hospital offers vaccines as part of its general wellness services. Our team of experienced veterinarians understands how life stage, level of activity, environment, and overall health play a role in the best vaccines and vaccine schedule for your horse. Contact us today for an appointment at 336-349-4080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also complete our convenient online form to request an appointment.