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Equine Vaccination Recommendations From Your Veterinarian
· To assure that your horse has the best possible protection Large Animal Practice recommends the following vaccination schedule.  This vaccination schedule is also the protocol of choice for high risk horses traveling to shows or races.  Or for those horses that are boarded or have frequent contact with horses that are traveling out of the area.

* Some horses may have special circumstances that require additional vaccines or vaccination schedules that are tailored to their unique medical condition.  Please consult your veterinarian regarding the best vaccination schedule for Your horse.  The  benefits of having your veterinarian vaccinate your horse may include:

  • Many manufacturer offer diagnostic and treatment guarantees if horses are directly vaccinated  by your veterinarian.
  • Your  veterinarian may notice potential problems your horse may develop before they become a major problem.  These may include: dental issues, weight issues, cushings and many more.
* For a detailed list of vaccination guidelines and what the American Association of Equine Practitioners Recommends please visit our Vaccination-General Information page.
Large Animal Practice Recommends:
EWT/WNV: Once a year
West Nile Virus: Every 6 months
*  (EWT/WNV vaccination counts as one of these vaccinations)
*Horses with an unknown West Nile Virus vaccination history should be given another vaccination 3-4 weeks after their initial vaccination.
Flu/Rhino:  Every 6 months
Rabies:  Once a year
Strangles Intranasal: Once a year
Pregnant Mares:  Pregnant mares should receive the same vaccinations stated above in addition to :
Pneumabort K:
* In the 5th, 7th and 9th month of pregnancy
* For mares with frequent contact with traveling horses, owners may consider enhanced protection with an additional vaccination in the 3rd month.
EWT/WNV, F/R, Rabies:  4-6 weeks before foaling to provide maximum passive immunity to the foal.
Foals:  Foals should receive:
* EWT/WNV, Flu/Rhino and Strangles vaccination at 6 months of age and a booster at 7 and 9 months of age.
*Rabies: 6 months of age.
*WNV: Foals born to mares Not vaccinated against West Nile Virus may begin their WNV vaccination schedule at 3 months, rather then at 6 months.
Weanlings:  Weanlings should receive their first annual booster at 1 year of age.
What do these Vaccines Protect Against?
EWT/WNV: This vaccine protects against Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (sleeping sickness), Tetanus and West Nile Virus.
F/R:  This vaccine protects against the influenza (flu) virus and Rhinopneumonitis (Equine Herpes Virus 4)
Pneumabort K:  This vaccine protects against Equine Herpes Virus strain 1
Rabies:  Rabies is an Endemic disease in the San Luis Obispo area in our wildlife (especially coyotes, raccoons and bats).  The American Association of Equine Practitioners has added Rabies vaccine to their list of “core” vaccinations.
Strangles:  The Strangles vaccination protects against the Streptococcus Equi subspecies Equi bacteria.
Why Should You Vaccinate Your Horse?
West Nile Virus:  West Nile virus causes neurologic symptoms associated with encephalitis which can include stumbling, difficulty standing, convulsions, inability to eat and fever.  There is no cure of West Nile Virus infection, however supportive therapy from your veterinarian can save your horses life.
EEE and WEE:  These viruses cause severe depression and high fever along with other neurologic symptoms.  The prognosis for survival from either virus is poor.
Rabies:  Rabies is caused by a Rhabdovirus, which affects the nervous system.  Equine and human rabies cases are very rare.  However, rabies is invariably fatal to non-vaccinated animals and contact with infected horses, cattle and dogs contribute to the number of human cases of rabies that are seen. Vaccinating your horse protects YOU and your VETERINARIAN!
Tetanus:  Tetanus is a disease that is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani.  Usually your horse will be infected by tetanus from puncture wounds.  The disease causes intractable muscle contractions leading to muscle spasms and rigidity.  Prognosis for survival from a full blown infection is grave.
Flu/Rhino:  Influenza and EHV-4 cause respiratory disease that can show signs of fever, depression and runny nose. A single case of Equine Influenza may cost more than $800 when you account for veterinary expenses, lost training time and training fees etc.  Experts recommend that to minimize future health complications horses should have one week off for every DAY of fever! 
EHV-1:  This strain of the Herpes virus is often associated with abortion by the pregnant mare.
Strangles:  Strangles can be characterized by the “typical” swelling of lymph nodes behind the Jaw or it can cause internal abscesses.  It is a very serious and very contagious disease.  It is most often seen at boarding stables where horses are coming and going and have contact with outside horses on a regular basis.  Vaccination with the intranasal Strangles vaccine can significantly decrease the severity of an outbreak.


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