Equine Vaccines and Deworming
Equine-Vaccinations: 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 administered initially as a two-shot series and then annually or more often depending on the vaccination and the horse's risk level. 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 and is administered once yearly (annually) in the spring.
- West Nile: West Nile Virus is also transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is recommended once yearly in the spring (prior to the mosquito season). In locations with a longer mosquito season, like Florida, it may be administered more often.
- Tetanus: 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 penetrating wounds.
- Rabies: Rabies is a virus that causes neurologic disease and death in horses as well as dogs, cats, livestock, and humans. It can be transmitted to your horse through the bite of an infected wild animal or bat. The vaccination is very effective and should be administered by your veterinarian once a year (annually) along with the other core vaccinations.
- Influenza: Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only 12-16 weeks. Horses traveling to shows, sales, racing events, etc. should be vaccinated every 3-4 months. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated at least twice a year.
- Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus that can cause respiratory disease, abortions, and neurologic disease. The vaccination is recommended along with influenza every 3-4 months for horses traveling to shows, sales, racing events, etc. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated at least twice a year. To prevent abortion due to rhinopneumonitis, we recommend vaccinating pregnant mares at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation.
- 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 and safer than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is given every 6-12 months depending on a horse's risk level.
- Potomac Horse Fever (PHF): Potomac Horse Fever is caused by the parasite Ehrlichia risticii. Horses are infected through small land snails and mayfly larvae that carry the parasite. It is not contagious and occurs more commonly in wet areas such as riverbeds or swamps. The disease causes high fever, laminitis, and severe diarrhea. The vaccine is fairly effective and is administered once a year. We recommend this vaccination if your horse lives in an endemic (high risk) are
Equine-Deworming: Recommendations--There are two methods used for deworming horses. The first method is to administer paste dewormers every 8-12 weeks. The second method is to keep the horse on a daily dewormer and paste deworm twice a year.
1. Paste Deworming Protocol:
- December/January-Moxidectin (Quest) (Use in horses only. We do not recommend using in miniature horses or ponies.) OR Double dose Fenbendazole (Panacur Power Pac) - This can be repeated for 5 days in a row if the horse is showing signs of small strongyle infestation (poor coat, chronic colic, diarrhea, unthrifty) and is safe for use in miniature horses and ponies.
- February/March-Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid)
- April/May-Ivermectin/Praziquantel combination (Equimax)
- June/July-Fenbendazole (Panacur or Safeguard)
- August/September-Double dose Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid)
- October/November-Ivermectin/Praziquantel combination (Equimax)
**Remember to read the active ingredient. For example, fenbendazole is the active ingredient in Panacur and Safeguard.
2. Daily Deworming Protocol
Deworm January and July with Ivermectin/Praziquantel combination (Equimax) and keep the horse on a daily dewormer, pyrantel pamoate (Strongid-C 2x).
Note* Before starting the continuous deworming program, deworm with Quest or a Panacur Power Pac.