Equine vaccine season is here!
There are many vaccines available for your horse. Which vaccine program best suits your horse depends on disease exposure risk. Some diseases we vaccinate against are a risk for all horses, such has tetanus and mosquito borne illnesses. Other diseases hold higher risk if you or your horse are in contact with horses from other stables or if you travel, such as contagious respiratory illnesses. Depending on the vaccines, they are available in combinations or induvial vaccines. Here is an outline of vaccines commonly used in our region!
Tetanus – This is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. This bacterium is naturally occurring in the soil and can easily contaminate cuts and wounds resulting in disease. This disease affects muscles, starting with muscle stiffness progressing to spasms, difficulty chewing and swallowing, hyperreactivity and eventually death. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine.
Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE and WEE) – These illnesses are caused by viruses carried by mosquitos. It causes severe neurological disease with rapid decline. Symptoms start with depression, circling and head pressing and progress to paralysis, seizures, and death. EEE is usually the more severe disease. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine.
Equine Influenza – This virus is extremely contagious from horse to horse and is one of the most common cause of viral respiratory disease in horses. Risk of exposure is due to contact with other horses, such as at shows, training, racing, and shipping. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine.
Equine Herpesvirus 1 and 4 – EHV-1 causes abortion and neurologic disease. EHV-4 causes respiratory disease, particularly in young horses. Risk of exposure is due to contact with other horses, such as at shows, training, racing, and shipping. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine.
West Nile – This is caused by a virus carried by mosquitos. West Nile is a neurological disease which varies in presentation. In addition to neurologic signs, other symptoms can include colic, fever, lameness, and decreased appetite. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine. While West Nile can affect humans, spread direct from horse to human is uncommon.
Strangles – Strangles is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and results in abscess formation in the lymph nodes around the jaw, which can compromise breathing. Protection is available in an intranasal vaccine.
Rabies – Rabies is caused by a virus. It is spread through contact with another infected animal. Humans are at risk when in contact with an infected horse. Rabies causes a neurologic disease which results in death. Protection in available in an injectable vaccine.
Talk to your vet to make the best vaccine program for you and your horse!