Vaccines are preparations of microorganisms introduced into the body to produce immunity to specific diseases by causing the formation of antibodies. Vaccine are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized. If you personally vaccinate your own horses, Dr. Yolonda & Dr. Amanda Brown recommends purchasing your vaccines from a veterinarian, and to read and follow the label instructions for the vaccine.
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. These vaccines are considered "core" vaccines, meaning they should be done annually. THERE IS NO TREATMENT EFFECTIVE FOR EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIES- MORTALITY IS ALMOST 100%
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. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating 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 should be given in endemic areas once yearly and is very effective.
West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus (WNV) causes encephalitis in birds, horses and humans. The virus is transmitted from infected birds by mosquitoes. Humans and horses appear to be especially susceptible. Studies done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that infected horses will not transmit WNV to other horses or to people. However care should be taken when handling blood from suspect animals.
Rhinopneumonitis/Influenza: These are respiratory vaccines. While not core vaccines, there are horses that should be protected. Horses at risk are show horses, young horses, shipped horses and pregnant mares, and horses that tend to congregate in groups (stabling, rodeos and horse events) Schedules may vary with the risk of exposure - every 4 months for frequent travelers, to every 6 months for less risky situations. 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. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 3.5, 7 and 9 months from the breeding date. The vaccine does not protect against the neurologic form of the disease.
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 guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is more effective than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is given once a year except in endemic barns( that have frequent outbreaks) where semiannual vaccination is recommended.