What should I vaccinate my horse against and why?
All equines should be vaccinated according to risk. We recommend all horses, ponies and donkeys which are in contact with other equines at livery, at shows and out hacking in areas near other horses be vaccinated with a programme which covers Equine Influenza and tetanus.
How are vaccines given to my horse?
Equine tetanus and flu vaccines are given by intra-muscular injection
Are there any risks associated with vaccination?
We always recommend owners should watch for any swelling or heat around the vaccination site, sweating or shivering. If you feel your horse is behaving out of sorts after a vaccination you should contact the practice to seek advice.
At what age should I have my horse vaccinated and what is the standard vaccine protocol?
We recommend a first vaccine (combined FT) at around 6 months, with a second (combined FT) 4-6 weeks later. This is then followed by a third vaccine (flu only) 5 months after this. Booster vaccines are normally given within 365 days – one calendar year, annually thereafter – of the date of the third vaccine.
Following the primary course, flu would normally be given annually, although competition horses may be subject to slightly different rules, for example, if competing under F.E.I. auspices.
Tetanus is normally given every 3 years, depending on the vaccine manufacturer. As C. tetani is a soil-borne organism, and not passed from horse to horse, we strongly advise that all equines are vaccinated against this disease, whether they are in contact with other equines or not.
Equine Herpes vaccination is available, but we do not see a great deal of this condition.
The only UK approved Strangles vaccine was withdrawn from the market several years ago. A Strangles vaccine is currently available in North America, but, as yet, it is not licensed it for the UK market – watch this space.