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Why vaccinate?

Vaccination is a simple and effective way to give your horse the best protection against a number of diseases. 

It is important for those horses competing, racing or even coming in contact with other horses, to have this protection.  Vaccinated mares pass on higher levels of immunity to their foals than those that are not immunised.  Prevention is the key to maintaining your horse in good health.

The following diseases can be vaccinated against:

Equine Herpes Virus – Pneumequine vaccine protects against equine herpes virus 1, which can result in abortion and respiratory diseases.  Mares will require three vaccinations if they have never been previously vaccinated.  If their vaccinations are up-to-date, all that is required is an annual booster during pregnancy.

Duvaxyn EHV1,4 vaccine is designed to reduce the severity of respiratory diseases seen in healthy animals.  This vaccine can be given from 5 months of age. Two initial vaccinations are required, followed by a 6-monthly booster.  This is the vaccine of choice for non-breeding stock.

Salmonella – Vetivax helps to protect against Salmonella infections in horses.   These infections are most severe in young foals.  Ideally, mares should be fully vaccinated to ensure they pass on immunity to foals.  Foals require three doses of the vaccine, older horses two. This is a disease that is transmissible to humans, so vaccination also aids to prevent transmission to horse handlers.  There is an annual booster required for this vaccine. 

Strangles – Equivac S helps to prevent the highly contagious disease Strangles.  This is a disease which is characterised by thick, creamy nasal discharge and abscess formation in the lymph nodes.  It can be passed on horse-to-horse through feed buckets, water troughs and horse handlers.  The infection can spread to other areas of the horse and lead to further complications.  Three doses of the vaccination two weeks apart, followed by a yearly booster shot are recommended, and vaccination may start as early as 3 months of age.  In high-risk areas, boosters may be given every 6 months.  Mares should be given a booster one month before foaling.          

Tetanus – Equivac T is a vaccine that helps to protect against Tetanus.  This disease is caused by bacteria found in soil, especially soil contaminated by horse manure.  This bacterium enters the horse through wounds, which may or may not be present when the clinical signs show.  Tetanus is a disease that is easy to prevent but difficult to treat.  The vaccination programme for tetanus includes two initial doses four weeks apart, then an annual booster.  After this initial annual booster, a vaccination every 4 to 5 years is recommended. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic to further discuss your horse’s vaccination status and future requirements.