We discuss vaccination of our pets on a regular basis, but what about our equine companions? Horses have their own set of challenging and deadly diseases that we use vaccination as a tool to help protect them against. Today, let’s discuss the recommended vaccinations by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the diseases they are for.
- Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (WEE) and sometimes Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis (VEE). These three viral diseases are carried by mosquitos and cause severe neurologic issues and often death, especially in younger horses.
- West Nile Virus (WNV) is also a virus transmitted by mosquitos that leads to severe neurologic symptoms and often death.
- Rabies is very dangerous disease transmitted by exposure to wildlife similarly to our pets and stock.
- Tetanus is a bacteria disease usually brought on by exposure to dirt and environmental factors in a wound or puncture. That bacteria then creates a toxin that paralyzes muscles and often leads to death, even with treatment.
Horses at different life stages need vaccinations in single or multiple rounds of vaccination and timing is crucial. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at certain intervals, newborn foals need a tailored program and horses should have a regular program of vaccination or titer monitoring. Where your horses live in the country and your travel plans with them also play a role in vaccination. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian for your horses’ health and protection.