I===I===I===I===I===I===I     Häst   I===I===I horsewalkCLR.gif (12602 bytes)I===I===I===I===I


Häst Home Page



Dental Health

Health Issues
And Vital Signs

List of Trails
For Riding Horses

List of Farriers

Boarding Stables

Training Facilities

Feed & Tack Stores

Häst Vehicles

Large Animal Rescue Equipment

Links to Other Sites

Contact Us                                                        


A comprehensive list of all the vaccinations available for horses is listed below in the order of importance for the Greater Louisville Region.  This list also can apply to anywhere in the United States, however, some regional variations exist, Potomac Horse Fever and Botulism both being examples.


Tetanus:  Of all the vaccinations that horses receive, tetanus toxoid is by far the most important.  Horses are particularly susceptible to the paralyzing toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium tenani in a wound.  In addition, areas where horses are located have high levels of the bacterial spores.  Vaccination is highly efficacious in preventing the disease.  Foals should be first inoculated with tetanus toxoid at 4 months of age with a booster 3-4 weeks later.  After that, annual boosters are recommended.  (Note:  Tetanus Anti-toxin, often given at birth, does not invoke long term immunity.)


Equine Encephalomyelitis:  Also called sleeping sickness, this highly fatal neurologic disease is carried by insect vectors.   While the incidence of disease is not common in this region, vaccines routinely have both the Western and Eastern strains combined with other diseases.  (Venezuelan Encephalomyelitis is currently not in the United States, although it may be just south of the border.)  The vaccination schedule is the same as tetanus toxoid, and is typically given at the same time.

(Recently, there has been a watchful eye being placed on the spread of EEE.  Outbreaks have occurred in South Carolina and other southern states.   It is not reported to be in Kentucky, but the situation is being monitored.   Those horses that have been vaccinated for tetanus by Häst need not worry, as both Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis have always been included with the tetanus vaccination.)


Rabies: The incidence of rabies in horses in Kentucky varies from 2-6 cases per year.  This disease is always fatal and has a high level of public significance as human exposure can be devastating.  The primary carriers of rabies in Kentucky are skunks and raccoons.  But even horses housed in the city are not necessarily protected as two racing standardbred horses were diagnosed with the disease a number of years ago.  Foals may be vaccinated at 4 months of age with a booster 3-4 weeks later.  Annual boosters are recommended.  Vaccination of pregnant mares is not recommended as safety studies have not been performed.


West Nile Virus: The West Nile Virus has made its way into the Kentucky and Indiana region late in the summer of 2001.  It affects a number of different species, including man, horses, and birds.  It is only spread by the bite of mosquitoes, so there is no direct horse to horse or horse to man transmission.  Although it is rarely fatal in humans, mortality rates in horses can reach up to 40 percent.  Even though the winter will kill the present population of mosquitoes, the disease can remain endemic in an area.  Early vaccination, before there is a wide outbreak, is recommended.  The vaccination is given initially with a booster 3-6 weeks later, and then annually thereafter.  (Note:  The ability to export a horse to another country may be adversely affected due to the patients new seropositive status.)

Early signs of the disease can include muscle twitching in the nose.  If this is seen in your horse, it would probably be very wise to begin treatment early.  Once the disease has progressed to paralysis, the prognosis is very grave.

Please have your horses properly vaccinated!    This consists of an initial vaccination, followed by a booster in 3-6 weeks.   If your horse has not had this vaccination protocol, he may be at risk.  On a rare occasion, even horses that have been vaccinated might become infected.  This should not deter consideration of vaccination.   Your horse will be in a much better position to fight West Nile if he has been properly immunized.


Strangles:  This upper respiratory disease, caused by Streptococcus equi, is highly contagious when present on a farm.  The disease is characterized by large abscesses under the throat which can sometimes take weeks or months to resolve.  Foals may be vaccinated at 2-3 months with a booster 2-3 weeks later.  Annual vaccination thereafter is recommended.   The newer intra-nasal vaccine is preferred over the previously available intramuscular route.


Equine Influenza:  This respiratory disease can often affect large numbers of horses, but is usually not fatal.  The immune response generated by the vaccine in the horse can be limited, especially in foals where maternal antibodies from the mare may interfere with the development of immunity.   Even though vaccination can not insure that a horses will not contract the disease, it can often be noted that horses do not seem to get nearly as sick when a vaccination schedule assists in the immune process.  With vaccination of foals demonstrating very limited efficacy, the first dose may be administered when the horse is older than 12 months.  Adults may be vaccinated at the rate of 1-4 times per year depending upon the horses age and the risk factors of the environment and the density of the horse population surrounding the horse in question.


Equine Rhinopneumonitis:  Caused by a herpesvirus (similar to the human common cold), this disease, like influenza, is rarely fatal, but can cause the horse to be very sick for a prolonged period of time.  And like influenza, vaccination cannot guarantee that the horse will not contract the disease.   However, horses that have been vaccinated most often demonstrate much milder symptoms that those that have not been vaccinated.  Vaccination of foals is usually done at greater than six months of age with 2-3 boosters 3-4 weeks apart.  Adults should be vaccinated 1-4 times per year depending upon risk factors.


EPM Vaccination:  Although the incidence of EPM is not high in the population of horses, those horses affected are often severely affected with debilitating neurologic deficits.  The vaccine has been demonstrated to produce high levels of antibodies against the Protozoa Sarcocystis neurona.  In vitro tests have shown that the antibodies produced have been effective against the organism.  Challenge studies, however, have been difficult to perform due to the nature of the disease process itself.  A high degree of safety has been demonstrated.  No vaccination protocol for foals has been suggested, however, Häst recommends that foals 4 months or over be vaccinated with a booster 4 weeks later.   Annual revaccination is recommended.


Botulism:  This neurologic disease, causing a flaccid paralysis, is often the result of horses eating around the carcasses of animals that have died.  It has also been cited as being found in newly disturbed earth and in alfalfa hay.  Häst has known of five cases in the Louisville region over the past 20 years.   Many more cases have been observed in the Lexington area.  Foals over 6 months may be vaccinated.  The protocol is three doses at four week intervals with an annual booster thereafter.


Potomac Horse Fever:  This disease, which causes severe diarrhea and death, is not currently in this region.  However, horses planning to travel to the east coast, or other areas where the disease is prevalent, should be vaccinated.  Foals may be vaccinated at 4-6 months of age with 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart.  Boosters may be given twice a year for those horses in an endemic area.


Equine Viral Arteritis:  Currently, only certain breeding stock is being routinely vaccinated under specific state regulations.  These regulations should be strictly adhered to or the horse may face serious obstacles to a breeding career.


This Page:  Hit Counter  as of 25 October 2004


Locations of visitors to this page

Send mail to Häst, PSC with questions or comments about this web site. 
Last updated on: 24 June 2011 at 1218R hours