Vaccinating your horse is a vital part of their annual health program. The most common diseases we vaccinate horses against are Equine Influenza (Flu) and Tetanus. There are many other diseases horses can be protected against, but this is really on a case by case basis. Please contact the surgery for more information.
Vaccination against Flu is often an entry requirement for competitions and is also required by some livery yards. If you are planning to compete, it’s important to check with the appropriate governing body on their vaccination requirements. If your horse doesn’t meet their requirements it is unlikely you will be allowed to compete.
Equine Influenza (Flu)
Flu is a highly contagious viral disease which can be spread by aerosols from infected horses, via direct contact or by handlers. Outbreaks can spread quickly through unvaccinated horses, vaccination is therefore key in controlling this disease.
The recommended vaccination protocol is as follows:
A primary vaccination followed by a secondary vaccination 4 weeks later. The first booster vaccination is administered five months later. This is followed by an annual booster within 12 months of the previous injection. In all cases, if the yearly booster lapses, the full primary vaccination protocol will need to be re-started.
All horses should be vaccinated against Tetanus, a disease caused by the toxins of Clostridial bacteria which is commonly fatal to horses. Problems arise when the bacteria enter via a wound, replicating and producing a powerful toxin. Tetanus can be prevented by administering a vaccine. The vaccine protocol is as follows:
Vaccination consists of a primary injection followed by a secondary injection four weeks later. The first booster must be given within 17 months of the secondary injection. Subsequent booster injections are given every two years after that. Horses being vaccinated against Flu will also be protected against Tetanus at the same time.
We try our best to remind clients when their horse is due a vaccination, however it is ultimately the owner’s sole responsibility to ensure their horse is vaccinated within the required time frames. Even one day late can result in the vaccination programme having to be restarted.