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Horse Vaccinations

Horses, ponies and donkeys can be vaccinated against a variety of life threatening diseases


All horses, ponies and donkeys should be vaccinated against Tetanus as an absolute minimum – the vaccine is safe, easily administered and 100% effective in preventing what is a serious and often life threatening condition, which can be distressing for the horse and very expensive to treat.

The recommended protocol is:

  • 1st vaccination
  • 2nd vaccination 4-6 weeks after the 1st
  • Booster 12 months after 2nd vaccine
  • Booster every 2 years thereafter

Equine Influenza

Any equine which regularly competes, changes yards, or may come into contact with any other horses, even hacking out, should also be vaccinated against Equine Influenza – whilst not normally life threatening, this disease has recently been diagnosed in the Midlands area, and is very contagious.

The vaccine protocol for Equine Influenza is as follows:

  • 1st vaccination
  • 2nd vaccination (21-92 days after the 1st, but ideally within 4-6 weeks)
  • 3rd vaccination (150-215 days after the 2nd)
  • Annual booster vaccination within 365 days of the 3rd

Modern ‘flu’ vaccines are very safe, rarely have any side effects, and are easily administered by injection into the neck or pectoral muscles. Scarsdale veterinary group recommends that ALL animals are vaccinated, young or old, pet or competition horse.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)

Infection with Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) can cause a variety of signs, depending on which strain of the virus is causing the infection. Vaccination is possible against strains 1 and 4, which can cause performance limiting respiratory disease and abortion.

The vaccine protocol for Equine Herpes Virus is:

  • 1st vaccination
  • 2nd vaccination 4-6 weeks after the 1st
  • Booster vaccinations every 6 months
  • Pregnant mares should also be vaccinated against EHV in the 5th, 7th and 9th months of pregnancy to protect against abortion.

Other Vaccines

It is also possible to vaccinate against West Nile Virus, Rotavirus in pregnant mares to boost the immunity of foals, and Equine Viral Arteritis in breeding stallions.

If you require any further information about vaccination, please contact your veterinary surgeon.

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