When it comes to your horse's health, vaccination is one of the most trusted ways to provide protection from viruses and certain bacteria. Vaccines have been proven to be extremely safe with a very low rate of side effects. At Block and Bridle, we use exclusively Merck equine vaccine products. We have found Merck vaccines are among the lowest for vaccine reactions and yield high levels of protection.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has categorized four vaccines as core. Core vaccines are those considered essential for all horses, regardless of location and environment. Core vaccines are administered annually and include:
Broodmares require their own special vaccines on a unique schedule. Vaccination of pregnant mares is aimed at reducing risk of late term fetal loss and providing adequate antibodies to their foal. Vaccines recommended for broodmares include:
Other vaccines are administered based on risk of exposure. In addition to core vaccines, many horses receive Equine Herpes Virus (EHV/ Rhino) and Influenza (Flu) vaccines. Depending on degree of exposure to these diseases, they are administered every 6-12 months. Other risk- based vaccines include Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), Rattlesnake Bite, Strangles, Rotavirus, Leptospirosis, and Potomac Horse Fever.
As with all aspects of animal health, it is important to formulate a vaccination program with your veterinarian. This ensures that your horse receives appropriate, safe, and effective vaccines.
Safeguarding your new foal begins before they are even born. At the time of foaling, a foal has no antibodies or protection from illness. The first hours of nursing provide all of the protection that they need through the passage of antibodies in colostrum. Thoroughly vaccinating the mare before delivery will help ensure that baby has a healthy start in life.
As with adult horses, the AAEP considers Tetanus, EEE/ WEE, West Nile Virus, and Rabies core vaccines; all foals should receive these vaccines regardless of location and environment. At Block and Bridle, nearly all foals receive EHV and Influenza as part of their core vaccines. Risk based vaccines to be started after core vaccines include Rattlesnake Bite, Strangles, and Leptospirosis. If the mare received vaccinations just prior to foaling and the foal had adequate transfer of antibodies, the first of three booster series begins at 4-6 months of age.
As with adult horses, formulating a sound vaccination program with your veterinarian for your foal is of great importance. If the mare did not receive vaccinations prior to delivery, foal vaccinations must be started sooner in order to provide protection as soon as possible. The first of three booster vaccines is frequently started at 3 months of age in these compromised foals. In certain high risk situations, vaccine programs may be started sooner than 3 months of age.