Have you vaccinated your horses this year?
The cost of vaccinations is minor compared to the expense of treating easily preventable disease. Vaccinations are a good investment since veterinarian care for affected horses can extend into the thousands of dollars.
A foal’s first-year immunizations begin as a series of two to three injections (depending on the product), followed by boosters once or twice a year. Foal vaccination timing is based on maternal antibody interference.
If a mare was vaccinated late in pregnancy, the foal’s vaccinations should begin later than if the mare was not vaccinated late in pregnancy. If you don’t know the mare’s vaccination status, you must assume she was both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
For almost all equine diseases, there’s a vaccine available that is simple and highly effective. There’s no sense not to vaccinate your horse.
Most diseases for which key vaccines exist are relatively uncommon, except for tetanus. The risk of tetanus is very high and 90% of unvaccinated horses who contract tetanus don’t survive.
Tetanus is almost always fatal, so this is one vaccine you do not want to miss (for yourself too!)
The incubation period is 7-21 days. The wound is usually already healed by the time symptoms start to show.
Vaccination against the disease is very effective and is strongly recommended.
The tetanus vaccination is commonly combined with influenza vaccination and if you follow the vaccination schedule for the combined vaccination your horse should be protected against tetanus.
When using separate vaccines, the tetanus vaccination schedule is as follows:
• Primary course two injections 4-6 weeks apart
• First booster within 12 months of the second primary injection
• Subsequent boosters only needed every 2 years
The risk of these diseases occurring isn’t worth not vaccinating your horse. If you consider losing just one special horse that you value and love, the justification for vaccination is very strong.
Equus Note has a scheduling feature for vaccinations and horse care visits (farriers, vets etc) and it is totally free.