In the UK the primary diseases for which horses are vaccinated are equine influenza (flu) and tetanus. These are available as a combined vaccine or separately depending on your horses needs. We recommend as a routine vaccinating for influenza annually, and for tetanus every other year.
Equine influenza is a seriously delibitating disease, rapidly spread from horse to horse, and there have been numerous outbreaks in recent years. Recent studies suggest that only around half of the UK equine population are vaccinated which allows the virus to circulate and pose a risk to our horses. As of 2017 we have switched to the Equilis brand of vaccine, because we believe as a ‘whole virus’ vaccine it offers the most stable protection to mutation of the equine inflenza virus. It also contains one of two of the most up to date strains of influenza.
Tetanus can turn a small wound into a life threatening problem, we would strongly recommend cover for all horses, no matter what their age or job. Vaccination schedules are different according to the cover provided, but we would recommend vaccination every other year. These are included as part of the Horse Health Programme.
For the combine vaccine we recommend:
- First vaccination from six months of age.
- Second vaccination 21-92 days after first.
- Third vaccination 150-215 days after second.
- Annual boosters must be less than 365 days since previous vaccine.
Vaccinations are also available for equine herpes virus which is particularly relevant to breeding animals. Please speak to one of our vets for advice.