Objective—To evaluate behavioral compliance of horses and ponies with simulated intranasal vaccination and assess development of generalized aversion to veterinary manipulations.
Animals—28 light horse mares, 3 pony geldings, 2 light horse stallions, and 3 pony stallions that had a history of compliance with veterinary procedures.
Procedure—Behavioral compliance with 2 intranasal vaccine applicators was assessed. Compliance with standard physical examination procedures was assessed before and after a single experience with either of the applicators or a control manipulation to evaluate development of generalized aversion to veterinary manipulation.
Results—In all 30 horses, simulated intranasal vaccination or the control manipulation could be performed without problematic avoidance behavior, and simulated intranasal vaccination did not have any significant effect on duration of or compliance with a standardized physical examination that included manipulation of the ears, nose, and mouth. Results were similar for the 2 intranasal vaccine applicators, and no difference in compliance was seen between horses in which warm versus cold applicators were used. For 3 of the 6 ponies, substantial avoidance behavior was observed in association with simulated intranasal vaccination, and compliance with physical examination procedures decreased after simulated intranasal vaccination.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although some compliance problems were seen with ponies, neither problems with compliance with simulated intranasal vaccination nor adverse effects on subsequent physical examination were identified in any of the horses. Further study is needed to understand factors involved in practitioner reports of aversion developing in association with intranasal vaccination. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1689–1693)