All About Horse Vaccines

Have you ever wondered about horse vaccines? Equine veterinarian, Dr. Chad McGee, gave us the run down on the various types of vaccinations given to horses.

Vaccines can be broken down into two categories: core vaccines and risk based vaccines. Core vaccines should be given to every horse regardless of where it lives or if it travels to shows or not. These include Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, Tetanus, West Nile Virus and Rabies. Risk based vaccines are given based on risk of exposure to a disease and the severity of that disease. Common risk based vaccines include Strangles, Equine Influenza and Rhino. These are typically given to horses that travel to shows or are in boarding barns with lots of traffic.

There is a range of other vaccinations that should be considered as well depending on where your horse is stabled and its lifestyle. If your horse is in the mid-Atlantic area, Botulism and Potomac Horse Fever may be more common and should be considered regardless of location. While there is no Lyme Disease vaccine that is FDA approved for horses, some success has been seen using the small animal vaccine off-label.

It is important to have these vaccines given by a veterinarian for a few reasons. Some of the vaccines come with guarantees from the manufacturer that will help pay toward the treatment of your horse in the case of a reaction, but this will only be valid if it was given by a veterinarian. Additionally, an animal vaccinated by anyone other than a vet is not legally considered to be vaccinated.

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