We recommend at least two "core" vaccines for our area. We recommend that your horse get a 4 or 5-way vaccination annually. The difference between and 4-way and a 5-way vaccine is that the 5-way has rhinopneumonitis
or equine herpes virus 1 in it. Generally horses older than five years
of age will be fine with the 4-way vaccination. We also recommend that
your horse be given a West Nile vaccine annually.
Ranches and farms that have had problems with Strangles or Distemper in the past should also vaccinate against this agent. We use the intranasal vaccination, but intramuscular vaccinations are available. Some of the older intramuscular vaccinations caused abscesses. Horses that are going to many shows and rodeos stand the risk of being exposed to strangles while in close contact with other horses.
Show and rodeo horses that travel a lot and are exposed to many other horses should also receive a 2-way vaccine that has influenze and rhinopneumonitis in it.
Rabies vaccinations for horses are never discouraged. It has been some years since we have had a horse infected with rabies in Idaho, but we do have rabies in bats in Idaho.
Potomac horse fever doesn't seem to be a problem in our practice, but we do have the vaccine available.
Pregnant mares should be vaccinated against equine herpes virus 4 as infection with this virus can cause abortion. Mares with exposure to other horses, especially outside horses should be vaccinated on months 5, 7, and 9 of gestation. Horses with a lot of contact with outside horses can also receive it at month 3 of gestation. One month before the due date, pregnant mares should receive a 4 or 5-way vaccination to help with adequate antibody levels in the mare's collostrum (first milk the foal receives from the mare).
Call us to talk about customized vaccination protocols as most ranches, farms, and individual horses could have different needs.