Vaccinations

Vaccinations are administered to horses to help boost their immune system. Administering vaccines will protect individual horses from disease and reduce the risk of spread through a herd. The most common vaccines available are for the diseases: Equine Influenza, Tetanus, Equine Herpes, and Strangles.

Tetanus

This is a disease caused by a bacterium (Clostridium tetani) which is found most commonly in the soil. It enters the body through wounds such as skin damage or hoof penetrations. The disease causes a multitude of symptoms including muscular spasms, twitching and potentially death. It is for this reason we strongly advise all horses to be vaccinated for Tetanus.

Equine Influenza (flu)

This is an infectious disease spread from one horse to another. Symptoms include snotty noses, lethargy and fever, and very rarely death. It is not common in the UK but outbreaks do occur and, due to the infectious nature of the disease, can have serious consequences in both herd health and yard closure.

Many competition authorities require horses to be vaccinated for Equine Influenza. A summary of the starting and annual vaccination requirements for the majority of the competing authorities is outlined below.

Starting course of 3 primary vaccinations.

Time between 1st & 2nd vaccinations- 21-92 days (roughly 3 weeks - 3 months. We recommend targeting 4-6 weeks).
Time between 2nd & 3rd vaccinations- 150-215 days (roughly 5-7 months)
Thereafter annually (no more than 365 days. 1 day over and the course will need to be restarted!)

NB: Horses competing under FEI rules must follow the same guidelines outlined above but must also have had a flu vaccination within the previous 6 months of a competition.

We offer a personalised reminder service for all vaccinations (by email or telephone) to help avoid going over time. However, please note this is simply a reminder and it is the client’s responsibility to keep vaccinations up to date.

Equine Herpes

This is a viral condition that primarily affects the reproductive and respiratory systems. In mares it can cause abortions and so vaccinations should be given during pregnancy (on 3 occasions). In all horse but particularly youngsters in contact with other horses, it can cause snotty noses, lethargy and poor performance. After an initial primary course, the vaccinations must be administered every 6 months.

Strangles

A disease that worries horse owners the world over. It is a bacterial disease (Step equi var equi) that causes abnormalities primarily in the upper respiratory tract with snotty noses, swollen lymph nodes under the jaw, fever and lethargy. It only very rarely causes death. A vaccination is now available that is administered into the horse’s top lip to create a localised immune response. Unfortunately the immune response only lasts between 3-6 months and booster vaccinations are required frequently.

Strangles Vaccine

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