Equine health begins with vaccinations.

At Burleson Equine Hospital we recommend annual and bi-annual vaccinations based on disease prevalence in horses in the North Texas region. These are only recommendations. Please call or email the office on specific vaccinations for your horse’s needs.

Spring Vaccinations include: VEWT/West Nile, Flu/Rhino, Strangles

Fall Vaccinations include: Rabies, Flu/Rhino, and West Nile

Foals should get their series of 3 vaccinations between 4-8 months of age. Specific vaccinations depends upon vaccinations history of the mare and age of the foal. Please call or email for your foals recommended schedule.

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Principles of vaccination

Individual situation requires evaluation based on the following criteria:

  • Risk of disease (anticipated exposure, environmental factors, geographic factors, age, breed, use, and sex of the horse)
  • Consequences of the disease (morbidity/mortality, zoonotic potential)
  • Anticipated effectiveness of the selected product(s)
  • Potential for adverse reactions to a vaccine(s)
  • Cost of immunization (time, labor and vaccine costs) vs. potential cost of disease (time out of competition; impact of movement restrictions imposed in order to control an outbreak of contagious disease; labor and medication if, or when, horses develop clinical disease and require treatment, or loss of life.)

Note: The use of antibody titers or other immunological measurements to determine if booster vaccination is warranted is not currently practiced in the horse as standardized tests and protective levels of immunity have not been defined in most cases. A correlation between antibody levels and protective immunity under field conditions has not yet been identified.

Vaccination alone, in the absence of good management practices directed at infection control, is not sufficient for the prevention of infectious disease. Vaccination serves to minimize the risks of infection but cannot prevent disease in all circumstances.

The primary series of vaccines and booster doses should be appropriately administered prior to likely exposure.

Protection is not immediately afforded the patient after administration of a vaccine that is designed to induce active immunity. In most instances, a priming series of multiple doses of a vaccine must be administered initially for that vaccine to induce protective active immunity.

All horses in a herd should be vaccinated at intervals based on the professional opinion of the attending veterinarian

(Ideally, the same schedule is followed for all horses in a population, thus simplifying record keeping, minimizing replication and transmission of infectious agents in a herd and indirectly protecting those horses in the herd that responded poorly to vaccination, thereby optimizing herd-immunity.)

A properly administered, licensed product should not be assumed to provide complete protection during any given field epidemic.

Although rare, there is potential for adverse reactions despite appropriate handling and administration of vaccines.

© Copyright AAEP 2008