Equine Vaccinations

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Has your horse been vaccinated this Spring? Everyone has their own system and situation, but we all should meet the “must dos” on our vaccine list, preferably soon, before insect season. First and foremost, make sure you consult your veterinarian. Variations in a vaccination plan may be due to your horses age and exposure to other horses and travel plans.

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the following *core disease vaccinations are those we ALL should make sure our horses are protected from. These recommendations are if the horse has been previously vaccinated, and is greater than one year of age.

  • Tetanus – Annual vaccination with tetanus toxoid, with a booster if a penetrating (puncture) injury occurs
  • Rabies – Annual vaccination
  • Encephalomyelitis (Eastern and Western) – EEE and WEE should be vaccinated for each Spring and Fall. With the mild winters we generally have (especially this year) this is critical to protect from the virus carried often by mosquitos
  • West Nile Virus – Similar to Encephalomyelitis, West Nile vaccination is also needed each Spring and Fall

*Core disease vaccines are named such because they protect against diseases that are endemic to a region, virulent or highly contagious, pose a risk of severe or fatal disease, have potential public health significance, and/or are required by law. Core vaccines have clearly demonstrable efficacy and safety, with a high enough level of patient benefit and low enough level of risk to justify their use in all equids.

The next vaccines are risk based, meaning that they are selected based on assessment of risk performed by, or in consultation with, a licensed veterinarian. Needs vary between individuals, populations, and/or geographic regions.

  • Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)
  • Equine Influenza
  • Equine Viral Areteritis (EVA)
  • Potomac Horse Fever
  • Strangles
  • Anthrax
  • Botulism
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rotavirus

There are many factors which influence the right vaccination protocol for your horse. Stages of life, such as age, reproductive status, activity and exposure to other horses are all considerations. Always make sure to consult your veterinarian for the best vaccination protocol to ensure the well-being of your horse.

Information source: American Association of Equine Practitioners Guidelines 2020. Visit aaep.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines for more details and updates.

equine vaccines