Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Horse vaccinations 101

  • Print

I am often asked to recommend a vaccination schedule for a client’s horse.


At first blush, that would seem to be an easy question to answer, but it really depends on a number of factors in order ensure that the horse will be adequately protected from the diseases it will most commonly be exposed to during the course of its seasonal activity.


To begin the conversation, we need to consider the types of diseases that a horse may be exposed to and the types of vaccines that are available.


The most common diseases that horses are exposed to are: respiratory diseases such as strangles, equine herpes virus type 1,4 (aka rhinopneuminitis) and equine influenza; mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis and Western Equine encephalitis; and clostridial diseases such as tetanus and botulism.


Strangles is a bacterial respiratory infection common in young horses and equine herpes/equine influenza are both viral respiratory infections that affect both younger and older horses.


Mosquito-borne diseases will affect horses of all ages, as will the clostridial diseases.
Exposure to the various diseases depends somewhat on the degree of travel and herd density around the horse to be vaccinated.


Horses that are predominantly backyard pets, do not travel off-farm and have no or minimal new herdmates introduced will have a low degree of risk for respiratory bacteria/virus-related diseases, but will remain at risk for mosquito-borne and clostridial diseases.


By contrast, a performance horse travelling to shows/competitions and living in a herd/stable of horses with constant movement on and off a farm will be at risk for respiratory viruses/bacterial infections much like a child at daycare.


There are several diseases for which the veterinary pharmaceutical industry has developed efficacious vaccines.


The more common vaccines administered are combinations and are colloquially referred to as either 3-way (tetanus, Eastern and Western encephalitis), 4-way (3-way + West Nile virus) or 6-way (4-way + equine Herpes Virus 1,4 and Equine Influenza).


The strangles vaccine is commonly given separately and alone from other vaccinations. The vaccines can generally be broken up into single diseases as needed.


Vaccination is an important step in preventing disease and illness from spreading through the horse community and ensuring that your horses do not become laid up for part of the prime summer riding season. If you have questions about what vaccinations are most appropriate for your horse or horses, talk to your veterinarian for more information.

Chris Bell is an equine veterinarian and surgical specialist who operates Elders Equine Veterinary Service, with clinics in Cartier and Winnipeg. See www.eldersequineclinic.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

How many Fringe shows have you attended or plan to attend this year?

View Results