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Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, etc. introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies.
Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized.
Vaccines are administered initially as a two-shot series and then annually or semiannually.
The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice.
Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis: Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. We recommend yearly vaccination except when mosquitos are bad in which case twice a year vaccinating is necessary.
Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani)which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds or a tetanus antitoxin dose will be administered.
West Nile Virus: West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. This vaccine is given yearly unless mosquitos are bad in which case vaccinating twice a year is necessary
Influenza:Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only 10-12 weeks. Horses travelling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated every 3 months. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated once a year.
Potomac Horse Fever(PHF): Potomac Horse Fever is caused by the parasite Ehrlichia risticii. Horses are infected through small land snails that carry the parasite. It is not contagious and occurs more commonly in wet areas. The disease causes high fever, laminitis, and severe diarrhea. The vaccine is fairly effective and is administered once a year.
Strangles:Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is more effective than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is given once a year except in endemic barns( that have frequent outbreaks) where semiannual vaccination is recommended.