Equine influenza is a highly infectious respiratory virus, which although rarely fatal can cause high temperature, nasal discharge and coughing. We encourage all our clients to vaccinate against Equine influenza; vaccination reduces clinical signs in the horse and helps reduce the risk of spread of the disease. Influenza vaccine is regularly updated with new strains.
To bring your horses vaccinations up to date you need to ensure that they have had a primary course of three vaccinations and thereafter a yearly booster.
The vaccination protocol is Day 1—first vaccination, 2nd vaccination 21-92 days later (approx four weeks after the first vaccination) 3rd vaccination 150-215 days later (approx five months later) and thereafter, annually.
Equine Influenza vaccination is a requirement of many competitive organisations e.g. British Show jumping, British Eventing, Showing, Jockey Club. Also it’s a requirement at certain levels e.g. area Pony Club and Riding Club competitions. Many livery yards and riding establishments require it as well.
The FEI Veterinary Regulations require that all horses are vaccinated against Equine Influenza within SIX months of competing at an FEI event, having had the necessary primary course of vaccinations. This primarily involves international competitions, but may affect some British Eventing and British Show jumping competitions. Please check with your competition governing body.
We politely remind all our clients that although we run a reminder system for vaccinations it is the clients responsibility to ensure that their horses vaccinations are kept up to date.
Tetanus is a life threatening bacterial infection that can enter your horses blood stream via any wound. It is caused by bacteria found in soil. Due to the high uptake of vaccination against Tetanus we rarely see it these days, however any unvaccinated horse is at risk.
Vaccination can be done separately or combined with ‘flu. After a primary course it only needs boosting every two years. Tetanus antitoxin provides short term cover from tetanus (it is an antiserum, not a vaccine) and can be given to unvaccinated injured horses, foals or colts when they are castrated.
It is now common practice to give a tetanus vaccine rather than the antiserum when a horse is at increased risk of tetanus. This has been common practice in human medicine for a long time, but has only recently been recommended in horses.
Equine herpes is an airborne virus which can cause a variety of disorders in the horse; upper respiratory tract infection, abortion in pregnant mares and rarely neurological disease.
Equine Herpes Virus (type 1 and 4) vaccine provides protection against these viruses. It is unclear how much protection vaccine provides against paralysis, but it is assumed there is some. EHV1,4 vaccine requires 6 monthly boosters.
At least 70% of the yard must be vaccinated for this vaccine to be effective at preventing disease. Some of our yards, particularly the larger ones, require EHV vaccination.