It is time to protect your horse's
health by scheduling an in clinic or barn appointment for
vaccinations. Determining vaccine protocol for your horse is
complex. There are many factors to consider such as: age,
occupation, home/stable environment, and general health
status. Our doctors will help you determine which vaccines
your individual horse needs and will answer questions about disease
Your horse needs to be healthy to
receive vaccinations. Vaccines work with the immune system in
developing a quick response to the pathogen. If your horse
has a weakened immune system a slow response time will be
generated. It is best to schedule vaccines when your horse
has recovered from any minor illness and when the horse will be
able to rest at home for a few days.
Common Vaccine Myths:
better: Some well meaning horse owners think that
they should vaccinate for everything to protect their equine
partner. It is important to balance the potential risk with
the potential benefits. Although vaccines are safe when
administered as directed, occasionally adverse reactions will
occur. This risk increases with the number of vaccines
administered. Our doctors will discuss your horse's
lifestyle and assess individual needs to best determine a vaccine
program. It is not a one program fits all.
Old horses shouldn't have
vaccines: Managing older horses requires special
considerations. As your horse ages, their immune function
decreases. Protecting against serious diseases is very
important. Our doctors will help you select the vaccines that
are most important. An option may be to space the vaccines
one at a time to ease the response on the immune system.
Ponies should not receive a
full dose: All horses from draft horses to
miniatures receive the same dose of vaccines. The purpose of a
vaccine is to stimulate the immune system. All horses have
the same immune response regardless of size. Administering a
partial dose will not protect your horse. There is no danger
that a pony will get an overdose from a standard vaccine.
My horse is not at risk and
does not need vaccines: All horses are at risk for
certain diseases even if they never leave your property and never
come in contact with other horses. Many diseases are
transmitted through insects and environmental factors of which you
All Vaccines are the
same: All vaccines are not created equal.
Vaccine manufacture and handling can greatly change the efficacy of
a vaccine. How it was handled, for example proper
refrigeration, from the manufacturer to your horse also greatly
affects the immunological outcome. If you administer your own
vaccines, you owe it to your horse to purchase the vaccine from a
veterinarian and follow his or her protocol guidelines
5 Way (TEWIR):
encephalomyelitis (EEE & WEE): Brain &
spinal inflammation caused by a virus transmitted by
mosquitoes. Both Eastern & Western forms are
characterized by fever, erratic behavior, and lethargy as the brain
begins to swell. WEE has a mortality rate of approximately 50
percent while EEE is fatal in about 90 percent of cases.
paralytic disease caused by a neurotoxin in spore forming bacterium
often found in the soil. All horses are at risk.
Bacteria enter through a wound or puncture. Signs include
extreme sensitivity to light, sound & touch, followed by rigid
Rhinopneumonitis: Contagious disease caused
by two forms of the same virus. Symptoms include coughing,
nasal discharge, lethargy, respiratory issues, abortions in
broodmares or neurological problems. The respiratory form may
also cause progressive weakness and in-coordination.
common viral infection of the respiratory tract. Symptoms may
include inflammation of the nasal membrane, the pharynx, the
conjunctiva, the lungs and sometimes the heart muscle. The
virus mutates and is short lived making horses susceptible even
after they have had the disease.
Fever: Contracted when horses eat infected insects.
Water insects and flying insects are common vectors.
Cases appear in warm weather and persist through the summer
months. Symptoms are characterized by severe fever, nasal
discharge, depression, colic, anorexia and laminitis.
viral disease of the central nervous system. Signs include
low grade fever, convulsions, erratic behavior, sensitivity to
touch and swallowing problems. Rabies is transmitted via
saliva, most commonly through bite wounds from an infected wild
animal bite. Death will occur in 2 day to 2 weeks.
West Nile: A
virus transmitted by mosquitoes. In horses infection
generally causes little to no illness. Ocassionally, West
Nile infection causes swelling in the brain that produces limb
weakness, muscle twitching, in coordination behavioral changes and
Streptococcus equi equi, commonly referred to as "equine
shipping fever" is transmitted by direct contact with infected
horses or sub-clinical shedders, or indirectly by contact with:
water troughs, hoses, feed bunks, pastures, stalls, trailers, tack,
grooming equipment, nose wipe cloths or sponges, attendants' hands
and clothing, or insects contaminated with nasal discharge or pus
draining from lymph nodes of infected horses. Vaccine is
recommended for young horses or for those at risk at breeding
horse. Set up an appointment for spring vaccines, dental
examinations, and an internal parasite screening. Keep your
equine partner healthy!
Call us today 920-863-3220 to schedule an appointment.