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Advice On Vaccinations


Equine Influenza Vaccine recommendations:

The course should be commenced from 6 months of age onwards and should only be given to horses in good health. The PRIMARY COURSE consists of three inoculations.

Due to the recent high profile flu epidemic, following veterinary advice, many yards and competitions require that horses receive 6 monthly boosters

The first two injections are given 21 – 92 days apart (preferably 4 – 6 weeks apart). The third injection (interim booster) is given no less than 150 days and no more than 215 days after the second injection of the primary course (preferably 6 months after primary course).

Thereafter, horses should receive annual boosters (not more than 1 year apart). If there is a lapse greater than 12 months a primary course should be recommenced. If competing under FEI rules a booster must take place within 6 months (plus or minus 21 days) of the competition date. Therefore if the horse is competing under rules regularly then twice yearly boosters would be required.


Equine Tetanus Vaccine recommendations

The course should be commenced from 6 months of age onwards and should only be given to horses in good health. It can be given separately or combined with an influenza vaccine.

The ‘primary course’ should incorporate two injections given 4 – 6 weeks apart. The first booster should be given one year after the primary course. Thereafter ‘boosters’ can be given annually or (preferable) biennially. If there is a lapse of more than 3 years a primary course should be recommenced.

We strongly recommend that you always keep the tetanus vaccination up to date even if your horse is not competing, is elderly or retired. Tetanus is a very serious disease and almost always fatal. The bacteria live in the soil and gain access through a wound.


In summary we recommend the following approach to equine vaccination:


  6 month old foal 1. 1st Flu/Tet
21 – 92 days 4 – 6 weeks later 2. 2nd Flu/Tet
150 – 215 days 6 months later 3. 3rd Flu/Tet
Not more than 12 months later 4. Flu Booster
Not more than 12 months later 5. Flu/Tet Booster


Thereafter Influenza yearly and Tetanus every second year.

It is recommended that mares receive a combined influenza/tetanus or tetanus booster in the last 10 – 3 weeks before the expected date of foaling. Foals born to unvaccinated mares are at a high risk contracting influenza or, more importantly, tetanus. A tetanus anti- toxin can be given once monthly until they reach 6 months of age when a primary course of vaccination can commence.


Post – vaccinal recommendations

Following vaccinations no strenuous exercise should be carried out for 48 hours.

Those horses which have a tendency to a ‘stable allergy cough’ (COPD) should be turned out into a fresh air environment for seven days after the injection.

It would be prudent to administer a course of ventapulmin orally if the horse has to remain in its stable. Horses are not allowed to compete for 7 days following vaccination and entry to the competition grounds may be refused on checking vaccination records.


Equine Herpes Virus (EHV 1, 4)

Equine Herpes Virus is associated with respiratory disease, abortions, perinatal mortality and occasionally neurological disorders.

It is recommended to vaccinate pregnant mares against Equine Herpes Virus, which could cause abortion in late pregnancy. Mares should be inoculated at 5, 7 and 9 months of pregnancy. Vaccination against the respiratory form of Herpes Virus consists of a primary course of two inoculations (4 – 6 weeks apart) from 6 months of age. Boosters should be administered every 6 months.

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