The "Lost Foals Group"
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Home Page.

The LOST FOALS GROUP, is made up of a growing number of breeders nation wide. These breeders are concerned about the side effects of the use of the Fort Dodge WVN Vaccine is thought to be having on their Foals both born and unborn, brood mares and stallions. These breeders are asking for further studies to be conducted on this vaccine. THese breeders have asked questions and ar not satisfied with the answers they have received thus far.
What to look for on this site.

Breeders stories. i.e. The field results reported to FDAH, that they are not mentioning.
Click photo at right for stories.

Links to Articles pertaining to the problems of the WNV Vaccine. See Links above

Posts found around the Internet, of other concerned people. This page

Contact information for the USDA. We URGE anyone who has had an adverse event happening with
the WNV Vaccine to call. The USDA Adverse Event Reporting Center at 800-752-6255.
Reporting these cases may help find a solution.

FDAH contact number 800-533-8536

This is form Carol. Thanks Carol.

I just recieved this months issue of Horse and Rider magazine, and Fort Dodge has chosen to use a full page ad for WNV using only broodmares and their foals as the horses pictured, a little misleading, and unfair in my opinion. But then little to this point has been fair in my book. Hopefully the word is getting out, and the people that are not having adverse reactions, continue to be so lucky, chances are though that when something goes wrong in their operations, raise the roof and WHY didn't someone tell me!!! Its easy to sit on the side thats winning. I say keep up the good work, and WE WILL find out the cause of all the tragic losses in the past season or two. My thoughts are with all of you that have lost your crops this year, and are having fertility problems this year. It may be that our only unaffected stock will be those who have not been vaccinated, and with the scare tactics still being practiced, and the theory just pay the $ 20.00 and get your LFG by some people, they may honestly think they are doing the right thing by vaccinating, we have yet to see the outcome of those foals whose mothers were vaccinated. At any rate, my band is a minority it seems, and I am willing to take the chance that one may become infected rather than losing the entire bloodline I have made my lifes work. I have had all my mares drop healthy foals, and the "weather" explanation must have missed my patch (and I had them all over my state breeding) cause they are all rebred.

That's all for now, Carol.

*Note They had the same ad in the June Issue of Western Horseman.

Click on Image above for BREEDERS STORIES.

** Note to all Viewers!! **
On the afternoon of 6/25/03. This site experienced a technical problem. We lost some of the posted cases. If your case has been forwarded to the Lost Foals Group and it is not posted. PLEASE send a brief but detailed account of your experience to

The following is a serries of emails that happened on Fri. June 27, 2003.

Original Email to the Lost foals group


I am concerned about my horses well being as much as any other horse person... but after reading your site and all the adds of people I can't help but notice a pattern: all these people are risking their brood mares life by not vaccinating them against West Nile just so they can make a profit off healthy foals. I understand that is their way of making money but there are also many other ways to profit in horses and I don't see how these people can stake the well being of one of their horses on a profit. Money seems to run a lot these days, and I don't mean so sound counteractive and negative about these cases as I was hoping to breed one of my horses but now I am not sure I want to risk having an unhealthy foal as I have already vaccinated my mare. This is just my opinion, and your site is based on other peoples opionions as well... but the question I have is how can the health of one horse who has no say in the deal be put on the line just to make a profit? There are other ways to make just as much money in horses if not more...

LFG Reply to Lindsey

Thank you for your imput.
Please keep in mind. FDAH states that nearly 15,000 horses contracted WNV in 2002. They Dont mention how many of those 15,000 horses had been vaccinated. They say that 1/3 of those who contracted WNV died. They dont mention how many of the ones that died had been vaccinated.

We wish you great success in your continued use of the WNV vaccine. May you never have the problems we have had.

Many breeders raise their foals and train them then sell them. Now how are they going to make money? Breeders nation wide suspect this vaccine of causing mares reproductive organs to shut down, of stallions becoming sterile after vaccination. If these are true, what will be the effects on these young horses reproductive organs? Will this render them sterile?

What we want is for FDAH to come clean about the true number of reports they have had. To do the proper testing to assure this drug is safe. Remember injectable wormer....on the market for a couple of years before side effects where reported and then it was pulled. Remember in the 60s the drug that was on the market for a few years before it was determined it was causing women to deliver children with flipper arms. How long was Phen-Phen on the market before it was pulled because of its adverse side effects. how long has Permian been on the market, and now its being looked into.

As horse owners dont YOU and I deserve to have the proper testing done by the maker of this drug? Dont we deserve honesty in the numbers they publish?

Thank you for you interest in this matter. LFG

Lindsey Reply to LFG

Hello again,
You know that made me think what you said: we can't have horses without breeding so is this West Nile cure slowly decreasing our horse population? If we can't breed just for a simple sport horse how do we plan to keep the demand for excellent horses? I re-read over your site and just the picture of that foal in the very first add is very disturbing... your email made some very good points and those simple questions deserve the answers... why is it that this issue is not being publized like in a horse magazine or newsaper? I know of a few magazines that would gladly publish this issue since it is a very important matter. Has anyone tried to contact a horse archive? The interent site you put up is a big step and a wonderful help in making us horse people realize what is going on. Now it seems the West Nile virus is a no win situation: if your horse gets it and its not vaccianted then chances are it will have to be put down but if you vaccinate your horse and want to breed you may not get a foal and if you do chances are it wont be healthy.... Sorry I am taking up your time but why is it the horse world must suffer for someone else's vaccination that doesn't work. Thanks for your time and I'll spread the word!!!

Interesting posts found on the Internet.
The following have been copied and pasted from posts on the Internet.

I'll copy a message from Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD. This was an answer to a question on the horse science BB from a woman who wanted to know if checking the antibody titers would show her how effective the WNV shot is, she was also afraid of giving it. Notice at the end of the message, Dr. Kellon reports that she DOES NOT use this vaccine on her own horses because of the lack of research on it. I personally do not use the Rhino vaccine, and I only vaccinate for tetanus, rabies, and E&W every other year because the titer levels stay high for that long. I keep my horses immune system way up there so it can fight off disease like it was meant to. Over vaccination (especially with the combined vaccines, which are the very worst) just kills the immune system. We have 14 horses in an area where WNV was common. We vaccinated 1 horse only for it and none of our horses got infected. We practice great mosquito control, and like I said, the immune system is the key to health and lack of disease. I know there are different opinions on vaccination, but we have been sold a bill of goods by the pharmaceutical companies. I'm for vaccination in moderation. Again, follow the $$$$$.

" Some of the newer DNA vaccines actually produce little to no change in antibody titers but extremely good protection. The killed vaccines used in horses are designed to trigger antibody responses but are not as strongly protective as a
natural infection, a modified live vaccine or a DNA vaccine.

If you are talking about evaluating the level of protection (such as it is) from a killed vaccine, you're right that antibody titers are the measure of that, at least short term. It's often difficult though to pin down a specific number above which the horse would be actually
protected from disease and below which he would be susceptible. In fact, that information is just plain not available for ANY of the equine vaccines. With natural infection that provide long term immunity from both humeral (antibody) and cellular immune responses, a low titer doesn't necessarily mean the horse is no longer immune. Even if the antibody titer has dropped very low or disappeared, the immune system is still capable of being very rapidly activated if the organism comes along again.

Vaccine manufacturers do only what they are absolutely required to do to get USDA approval for their vaccine. Most of the vaccines in
current use have never even been tested by challenge studies, where the horse is vaccinated and deliberately exposed to see if he is
actually protected. The USDA is getting tougher about that requirement though.

For example, the antibody titers produced as a result of the WNV vaccine persist for at least a year and horses exposed to virus in the challenge studies most were able to suppress virus appearance in their blood BUT under real life conditions no one really believes the vaccine will protect a horse from disease for up to a year and the challenge conditions used weren't sufficient to produce disease in the unvaccinated horses either. States with significant problems
recommend boosters every 4 to 6 months. Same for a lot of equine vaccines, including flu, Rhino, and the other causes of viral encephalitis. Rhino vaccine isn't protective even if you do it every 2 to 3 months.

I really hate to answer the question of whether or not I personally use WNV vaccine because I don't have any more solid research to back the decision on than do those who do use it but no, I don't.

"Eleanor Kellon, VMD"

Last year we had the big West Nile debates on this board, and I am still a little crispy for the stance I took on not vaccinating my broodmares. My Vet called the company for approval, and they said that it has not been CONCLUSIVELY linked to abortions, but that it is also not been proven safe.
Living in a state where there hasn't been any cases, and the other studies I had done into the drug etc., my own personal experience through friends etc., I chose not to vaccinate.
Well here's where the real fun begins, my Insurance Company wanted a copy signed by my Vet that said my Mares had had the vaccine, when I very calmly explained that they wouldn't be recieving it, they fired off a letter threatening to cancel my insurance policy effective immediately if I would not comply. Well I just tromped down to my attorneys office, and he fired off another letter, several phone calls, and let them know in no uncertain terms, that if they thought they could make me administer an unapproved, experimental vaccine as a condition of my Insurance, that we would be going to court to sue for LOTS of stuff, including 10 times the original policy per horse for loss of future revenue in the event ANYTHING were to happen. As anyone who breeds knows, you cannot buy Insurance guaranteeing you a healthy to term foal, and the Insurance companies lawyers quickly countered there had been a misunderstanding, and in no way was I required to vaccinate my mares.
If you call Fort Dodge, listen VERY closely to their answer about this specific question, NOTE what they DON'T say also. I am very sorry for your loss, and this may not be the cause, but I know a lot of people in our state lost pregnancies this year, and in my circle, we had all decided to breed less this year consciously, so the numbers of foals coming up this year from my state will be dramatically decreased, (at least in my breed) I think it's a shame so many people were frightened, and shamed into giving the vaccine to their horses. Let's hope you're luck changes, and ya get the rest healthy. I know how hard it can be. Best Wishes to you and yours. Carol

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