I have a three year old arabian/quarter mare who I never had a problem giving vaccinations or tetanus shots to. Aprrox. 1 1/2 years ago she got a cut on her leg and I asked a vet to come and give her a mild sedation so I could cleanse and wrap the area good. I gave her a tetanus shot two days before he came. Well, I don't know if this gent just had a bad day or what, but he marched right in my barn, spoke nothing to the horse, felt the jugular, and jammed the needle for sedation right into her. She bolted backwards, took a 300 pound gate off of it's hinges, almost hurting herself. The vet began screaming at me that the horse is crazy and really being beligerent. He then took her out of the barn with lead in hand and she ran in a circle with eyes bugging. He then took his booted foot and kicked her with all his might in the gut. I paid the man and informed him that he won't need to worry with coming back for anything. This is a very tame, affectionate horse, that will jump in your hip pocket, but from that day forward I have never been able to get near her again with a needle. I can brush her, pick her feet up, etc. all day long, but no needle. If my husband holds her with halter and lead, it is though she knows whats up and begins getting ancy. I've tried covering her eye. I have got to vaccinate her for encephalitis as I have done all the others, but running out of ideas. I've seen a horse die of encephalitis and don't want to experience that again.
Hello. Thank you for asking your question on just answer. My name isXXXXX will try to help.
I am glad you are not going to let that vet come back.
Have you tried a twitch on her nose?
When you cover her eye, do you just use one hand or do you put a towel, or saddle pad, under the halter to cover both eyes?
Have you tried giving her a bucket of grain when you go to inject?
I have not used a twitch as I am not trying to instill more fear. I want her to learn that this is not as unpleasant as she thinks it is. Yes, I was only covering one eye with my hand, because it seemed when I covered both eyes she would become more nervous. I have not tried the grain.
I have this problem a lot. So I will tell you what I do. But keep in mind, a scared horse is dangerous so you, and your helper, need to be very careful.
If the hose is very fractious, I have the owner give an oral sedative before I get there.
You can use dormosedan gel which is made to go in the mouth.
You can also use acepromazine tablets.
Forget the herbal and over the counter stuff. It never works.
If you can get the twitch on, you can get inject in about 15 seconds. Then you can take the twitch off.
I always give lots of treats, or grain, after I get a vaccine in. Then they learn they will get a treat after each injection.
I also take a big towel, or saddle pad, and put it over the front of the head and tuck it in the sides of the halter. Then I have both hands free.
You can also try putting the lead rope chain over the top of the gums of the front teeth. That area actually releases endorphins with pressure. You have to use the chain a little to correct her if she rears up or tries to take off.
I also get a bucket of grain. If they are very food oriented then that works. You can have your helper hold the bucket of grain while you inject.
On the really tough ones, who rear up, I do the blind fold and have a helper hold a front leg up tight to the body. It is more difficult for them to rear, or strike, on three legs.
I have noticed, once they realize it is not that big of a deal, and they will get food, they do get better over time. But they do not get over it right away. It takes a few rounds of injections.
So, be careful.
You may want to try another vet as well. Some horses are better behaved with strangers than their owners.
I hope this helps.
What happens if I cover both eyes with a towel, stick her and she jumps? Do you recommend going slowly with the stick or just pop it in? Also, where do I get those sedatives you spoke of?
She may rear up a little with the towel on her head when you inject. They usually do not jump much. I just stay out of the way and inject super fast as they go up. Then I get out of the way.
Just pop it in if it's just a vaccine.
Going slow will get you in trouble.
You have to get those sedatives from a vet. So you would have to find a new vet. They are fairly inexpensive.
A vet has to give the rabies vaccine once a year because lay people can not give rabies vaccines. Rabies is the cheapest vaccine of all. So you could have a new vet out for a rabies shot, and then get a prescription for a tranquilizer so you could do the rest of the vaccines.
Thank you soo much
You are welcome. I have a feeling she will get over her fear with time.