Vaccinations for Horses:
Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, etc. introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies. Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized. Vaccines are administered initially as a two-shot series and then annually or as recommended by your veterinarian. The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice at Fredonia Veterinary Clinic in Fredonia, WI and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP.
Eastern & Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE; WEE): Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. We recommend vaccinating annually in the spring, before the start of mosquito season.
Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani)which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds.
Rabies: Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system of mammals. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva of infected animals. It is 100% fatal. The vaccine is given once yearly and is very effective. There have been cases of rabies in bats in our practice area.
West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. We recommend vaccinating annually in the spring, before the start of mosquito season.
Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is caused by equine herpes virus (EHV) which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord. Vaccination is recommended for horses at risk, with the frequency depending on the individual horse's potential exposure. Horses that are traveling to shows, races, sales, etc. should be vaccinated more frequently (every 3 months). Horses at large stables should be vaccinated every 6 months. Lower risk horses can be vaccinated once a year. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 5, 7 and 9 months from the breeding date. Unfortunately, the available vaccines do not protect against the neurologic form of the disease. Discuss with us, your veterinarians, about what we recommend for your individual horse and the frequency of booster vaccinations.
Influenza: Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. Horses traveling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated more frequently (every 3 months). Horses at stables should be vaccinated every 6 months. Lower risk horses can be vaccinated once a year. Discuss with us, your veterinarians, about what we recommend for your individual horse and the frequency of booster vaccinations.
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF): Potomac Horse Fever is caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia risticii. Horses are infected through accidently ingesting small land snails or aquatic insects that carry the bacteria. It is not contagious and occurs more commonly in areas near ponds or rivers. The disease causes high fever, laminitis, severe diarrhea and can be fatal. The vaccine is considered helpful, although not 100% protective.Annual vaccination in the late spring is recommended for horses in at risk areas or that travel to at risk areas.
Strangles: Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is more effective than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for horses at risk of being exposed and is boostered annually.