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Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, etc. introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies.
Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized.
In most cases, vaccines are administered initially as a two-shot series and then annually or semiannually.
The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP.
Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis: Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. We recommend an initial two-shot series 3-4 weeks apart and yearly thereafter.
West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. We recommend an initial two-shot series 3-4 weeks apart and yearly thereafter.
Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani) which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly after a two-shot initial series. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or penetrating wounds.
Rabies: Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system of mammals. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva of infected animals. It is 100% fatal. The vaccine is given once yearly and is very effective. It does not require an initial booster series.
Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord. The vaccine is not 100% effective and the protection only lasts 10-12 weeks. All horses should be vaccinated once yearly, usually in the spring. This vaccine requires an initial two-shot series. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 3, 5, 7 and 9 months from the breeding date. Horses that are travelling to shows, races, sales, etc. should be vaccinated every 3 months during the travel season. The vaccine does not protect against the neurologic form of the disease.
Influenza: Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only about 6 months. Horses travelling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated every 6 months. All horses should be vaccinated once yearly, usually in the spring. This vaccine requires an initial two-shot series.
Strangles:Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop more serious systemic infections. We do not recommend vaccinating for Strangles unless there is a high risk of exposure. We recommend use of the intranasal vaccine. The vaccine is given as an initial two-shot series and then given once a year if deemed necessary.