Don’t forget we offer 10% discount on all vaccinations when 2 or more horses are injected at the same time for the same owner. Please call the dedicated equine number 01268 622223 to book your appointment.

Equine Influenza: Why vaccinate?

Equine influenza is a debilitating respiratory disease caused by the highly contagious and ever adapting influenza virus. It can travel up to 2Km on the wind and has caused epidemic outbreaks worldwide with huge economic consequences to the equine industry. (The Australian outbreak in 2007 cost $AU 1.6 billion, took 10 days to spread and 5 months to control).  FEI and Jockey Club Rules were introduced to try and reduce the constant, potential threat to the equine industry.

Clinical signs vary in severity but can include fever, lethargy, anorexia and a dry, harsh cough. Death is uncommon but can occur in youngstock and older or immunocompromised animals.

Horses with “flu” require complete rest for at least 3 weeks but may need up to 3 months to recover fully.

Due to the ability of the virus to change and mutate, it is important that our horses are vaccinated against the current strain causing disease. For this reason Hall Place Equine use the most up to date vaccine on the market to provide the best possible protection for our clients’ horses. (See vaccination protocols below)

Tetanus

Tetanus or “Lockjaw” is caused by a bacteria that lives in the soil which enters the horse’s body through wounds, however small. Toxins released by the bacteria then enters the horse’s bloodstream causing clinical signs starting with general muscle stiffness and progressing to a stiff jaw and inability to chew with a heightened state of anxiety. The disease usually results in death over 5-10 days due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles. This disease is easily preventable by appropriate vaccination.

equine-vaccinations

Vaccinations

Vaccinations for ‘flu’ and tetanus can be given separately or as a single combined injection. To start your horse’s vaccinations against flu and tetanus a primary course consisting of two injections ideally administered four to six weeks apart, is needed (to conform to Jockey Club rules for affiliated competitions 21 – 92 days). A third vaccination is needed six months later (for competitions 150 – 215 days). An annual booster of influenza is required thereafter, with a combined tetanus booster after 1 year and then every other year. If your passport is available at your horse’s vaccination appointment then your vet will automatically work out which annual vaccination is needed by your horse.

For all competing horses, including Pony Club and showing, the annual booster must be within 365 days and the primary course within the bracketed dates shown above. Currently, horses competing internationally require an influenza vaccination every six months and there is some speculation that this may extend to all competing horses.

Outbreaks are now rare due to ongoing and widespread vaccination programmes. The virus has the ability to mutate and cause new epidemics, so up to date vaccines are essential to keep on top of the disease.

Vaccination Calendar

1st Vaccination: From 4-6 months old

2nd Vaccination: 21-92 days

3rd Vaccination: 150 – 215 days

Booster Frequency: Annually (before date of previous vaccination)

1st Vaccination: From 4-6 months old

2nd Vaccination: 4 – 6 weeks after 1st vaccination

3rd Vaccination: 6 months after 2nd vaccination

Booster Frequency: Annually (before date of previous vaccination)

1st Vaccination: From 4-6 months old

2nd Vaccination: 4 – 6 weeks after 1st vaccination

3rd Vaccination: 1 year

Booster Frequency: Every other year

1st Vaccination: From 4-6 months old

2nd Vaccination: 21 – 92 days after 1st vaccination

3rd Vaccination: 150 – 215 days after 2nd vaccination

Booster Frequency: Annually (before date of previous vaccination)