|Thank you Dr. Corey Paradine for the following information:Vaccine Guidelines
These guidelines are based on the American Association of Equine Practitioners vaccine recommendations for core vaccines (aka vaccines pretty much everyone should have). Vaccine guidelines are different for foals/weanlings and pregnant mares – these are for adult (greater than one year) non-breeding animals. Vaccines for other diseases certainly exist and may or may not be recommended depending on the individual and the location/intended location of the horse. As always, if you have any questions regarding your horse(s), contact your vet.
Tetanus is caused by the toxin of the bacteria Clostridium tetani. The bacteria lives in the environment and most animals contract it via wounds. The toxin causes severe persistent body-wide muscle contractions. Most horses that develop tetanus are euthanized for humane reasons, though the disease itself may be fatal. Horses should be vaccinated annually. Horses that sustain a wound or undergo surgery 6 or more months after their previous tetanus booster should be re-vaccinated with tetanus toxoid immediately at the time of injury or surgery.
Note: The severity of the wound does not predict the risk for development of tetanus. Superficial wounds have resulted in clinical tetanus in horses.
EEE/WEE are mosquito-transmitted viral based neurological diseases that are generally very severe and have a high fatality rate. Annual re-vaccination should be completed prior to mosquito season in the spring. In areas where mosquitoes are active year-round, many veterinarians elect to vaccinate horses at 6-month intervals to ensure uniform protection throughout the year, although this practice is not specifically recommended by manufacturers of vaccines.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus causes a neurological disease of varying severity. Like EEE/WEE West Nile is transmitted by mosquitoes. Horses should be vaccinated annually in the spring, prior to the onset of the mosquito season.
Booster vaccinations are warranted according to local disease or exposure risk.
Rabies is a rare cause of a neurological disease in horses. While the incidence of rabies in horses is low, the disease is invariably fatal and has considerable public health significance. By the time a horse is diagnosed with Rabies often numerous people have been exposed. It is recommended that rabies vaccine be a core vaccine for all horses and should be given yearly.
EHV (Herpes virus)
With the exception of pregnant mares, it is recommended that the following horses be re-vaccinated at 6-month intervals:
• Less than 5 years of age.
• Horses on breeding farms or in contact with pregnant mares.
• Horses housed at facilities with frequent equine movement on and off the premises, thus resulting in an increased risk of exposure.
• Performance or show horses in high-risk areas, such as racetracks. More frequent vaccination may be required as a criterion for entry to certain facilities.
This virus is sporadically introduced by an infected horse. All horses should be vaccinated against equine influenza unless they live in a closed and isolated facility.
Mature performance, show, or pleasure horses constantly at risk of exposure should be re-vaccinated at 6-month intervals. Other adult horses can be vaccinated as infrequently as once a year.