Topline Equine Veterinary Care
Core Vaccinations: Rabies
Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis
West Nile Virus
The AVMA defines core vaccinations as those “that protect from diseases that are endemic to a region, those with potential public health significance, required by law, virulent/highly infectious, and/or those posing a risk of severe disease. Core vaccines have clearly demonstrated efficacy and safety, and thus exhibit a high enough level of patient benefit and low enough level of risk to justify their use in the majority of patients.”
Risk-Based Vaccinations: Anthrax
Equine Herpesvirus (Rhinopneumonitis)
Equine Viral Arteritis
Potomac Horse Fever
These are vaccinations included in a vaccination program after the performance of a risk-benefit analysis. The use of risk-based vaccinations may vary regionally, from population to population within an area, or between individual horses within a given population. Disease risk may not be readily identified by laypersons; it is important to consult a veterinarian when developing a vaccination program.
Vaccine Timeline for the Adult Horse - from The Horse
DEC/JAN/FEB: During the winter months, not much needs to be considered in the way of vaccinations unless a horse will be traveling to an area with diseases for which he would be at high risk and has not yet been immunized.
MAR/APR/MAY: Administer spring immunizations during these months in order to have vaccines on board in advance of warming weather and an active mosquito season. Your horse should receive, at the very least, Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis (EEE and WEE), West Nile virus (WNV), tetanus, and rabies vaccines (first three are spread via mosquitoes). Other immunizations commonly given this time of year are influenza and herpesvirus vaccines. In high-risk areas or situations, your horse might also be immunized against strangles, Potomac horse fever (PHF), or botulism. In breeding situations where a horse is likely to be exposed to equine viral arteritis (EVA), this vaccine would also be included.
By the last month of gestation, the pregnant broodmare should be toward the end of her series of primary immunizations or boosters against all “core” diseases and those specific to your general area for which she’s at high risk.
JUNE/JULY/AUG: In the summer months you’ll want to make sure your horse is protected against all the necessary insect-related diseases for which there are vaccinations.
SEPT/OCT/NOV: In the autumn months preparations are under way for winter. This is the time of year your horse should be well-protected against respiratory viruses, specifically influenza and the respiratory form of herpesvirus (rhinopneumonitis). These are usually incorporated into the vaccine program at the time of the fall veterinary visit. Boosters can be given at this time for WNV, EEE, and WEE in areas with mosquito seasons that extend into winter months.