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Equine Health Management - Immunization

Expert Lillimore Lack

Questions (For answers, scroll down or click on question)

Where is Potomac and Horse Fever found?

What are the signs and symptoms for strangles?

What vaccinations are needed for a mare in foal?  How long before the foal is born should the last shot be given?

I'd like to know what the current immunization schedule is (or where I can get a schedule) for the following horses:   foals, weanlings, adult horses, and brood mares who are located in open, semi-open, and closed herds.

Should all horses be vaccinated against strangles?

Our mare is in foal and our weanling has strangles. If the mare were to become infected with strangles, could she pass this on to the unborn foal?


Questions and Answers

Q: Where is Potomac and Horse Fever found?

A: Potomac and Horse fever are most commonly found in Northeast around large rivers from June to August.

 

Q: What are the signs and symptoms for strangles?

A: Fever, depression, lethargy. Look for swollen lymph nodes of the head and trouble swallowing.

 

Q: What vaccinations are needed for a mare in foal?  How long before the foal is born should the last shot be given?

A: A mare in foal will need the following:

  • Rhino/Abort vaccine at 3,5,7, and 9 months of pregnancy.
  • Butulism, 3 series, the last shot one month before due date.  The others one month apart.
  • One month before due date: Tetanus, Rabies, Rhino/Flu, Encephalomyelitis (EEE) or (WEE).
  • Worming every 6-8 weeks.  Last worming one month before due date.

 

Q: I'd like to know what the current immunization schedule is (or where I can get a schedule) for the following horses:   foals, weanlings, adult horses, and brood mares who are located in open, semi-open, and closed herds. (I live in northeast Kansas)

A: The following are the standard immunizations.  I would always check with your veterinarian for advice.

Foals and Weanlings and Adult Horses

Encephalomyelitis Start at three months of age Booster after 1 month, then annual booster
Tetanus Start at three months of age Booster after 1 month, then annual booster
Rabies Start at three months of age Annual booster
Rhino/Flu Start at seven months of age Then every 8 weeks or 3 months
Potomac Horse Fever Same as tetanus and EW

 

Q: Should all horses be vaccinated against strangles?

A: The disease is preventable through good barn management. Careful observation of young horses and isolation of horses when they first come into a barn can prevent most outbreaks. Veterinarians who regularly work with show barns encounter very few of these cases. The disease seems to occur most often in young horses on breeding farms, but researchers haven't yet determined the source of the organism that causes the disease. The bacteria, which survives on contaminated bits, bridles, feed and water buckets, or in soil, can be transmitted for up to four weeks, and may remain active in the environment even longer. We do vaccinate all of our horses, however, many vets advise vaccinating only if your horse has been exposed to horses that have or may have strangles. Initial doses of the vaccine include three shots, given three weeks apart; then vaccinate once a year or prior to anticipated exposure.

 

Q: Our mare is in foal and our weanling has strangles. If the mare were to become infected with strangles, could she pass this on to the unborn foal?

A: It is possible, but not likely that she would pass this on the the foal.  For more information, talk with your vet.

 


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