Spring is right around the corner, and in between dreaming about riding outside in beautiful weather most riders are also thinking about taking care of their horse’s spring vaccines. There are a range of common horse vaccines available that owners can select from to help protect their horses. Here is a list of the most common horse vaccines that you may be considering for your horse this spring. As always, be sure to consult with your veterinarian on what is appropriate for your specific horse, especially in cases where a mare may be pregnant and with young horses.
- Tetanus – Horses can be somewhat accident prone. The tetanus vaccine will help protect your horse from bacteria that can cause lockjaw and muscle spasms if he suffers a puncture wound or other deep wound that could become contaminated. Usually given annually in a two-dose series with a booster at time of injury.
- Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis – Also known as “sleeping sickness,” encephalomyelitis causes brain and spinal cord inflammation and is passed through mosquitoes. The vaccine is usually given once a year with a two-dose series in the spring before the insects emerge.
- West Nile Virus – Also spread through mosquitoes, this disease can be deadly to horses and is fairly widespread. Typically the horse vaccine for West Nile is given twice a year, although is sometimes just given annually with a two-dose series.
- Rhino (EHV) – Caused by the herpes virus, this disease is contagious and affects the horse’s respiratory tract, as well as inducing abortion in pregnant mares. The horse vaccine series is generally given twice a year, but should be done more often for horses that travel to shows frequently.
- Influenza – Both intranasal and injectable horse vaccines are available for this, and your veterinarian can recommend what will be best for your horse. Influenza causes a contagious, viral respiratory-tract inflammation, and should be vaccinated against twice a year in most cases.
- Strangles– One of the most common respiratory infections in horses, it causes fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, and abscesses in the head and neck regions. If your horse travels often to compete, it is important to vaccinate against this disease as it is contagious. Typically Strangles is vaccinated against twice a year in a multi-dose series.
When selecting horse vaccines this year, keep in mind that we also offer needles and syringes for your equine medical supplies kit. Always discuss horse vaccinations and other medical treatments with your veterinarian or a knowledgeable professional before treating your horse.
Your veterinarian is imploring you to talk to them about vaccinations and not just order them from a catalog. Unfortunately there are many vaccines specific to parts of the country not listed here. The biggest issue with this article is that RABIES vaccines are considered core and necessary for all horses. Rabies is a fatal disease that can also infect humans. In most every state, rabies vaccines are only available from your veterinarian. Please, please contact your vet so your horse does not go unprotected!!
We agree! All horse owners should absolutely consult their veterinarian regarding vaccinations and other medical issues. And yes, while we do not carry the rabies vaccine, it is for sure an important one to give that should not be overlooked!