Vaccination Program for Your Horse

The main objective of vaccination is to build a strong immunity against infectious diseases which cause illness or death.

When it comes to equines, vaccination plays a major role as horses are more prone to infections. Hence hygiene procedures and vaccinations should be done routinely. 

Core Vaccinations

Given to prevent them from fatal diseases.


These bacterias are omnipresent and manage to enter into the wounds and generate powerful neurotoxin  leading to muscle spasms which can be fatal. Symptoms include high fever, head and neck muscle spasm, difficulty in chewing etc.

A weakened toxin is given in the form of a vaccine to enhance the immune power. Boosters have to be injected in case of any wound.


Rabies virus attacks directly the nervous system. However it is not found frequently in horses, but there will be cases every year. The symptoms include difficulty in eating and drinking, incoordination etc.

It is highly infectious and vaccination is compulsory. Broodmares are vaccinated 5 to 6 weeks prior foaling and these foals should be vaccinated again at 6th and 12th month of their age. Adult horses should be vaccinated annually.

Eastern equine encephalitis/Western equine encephalitis:

They are caused by viruses which are transmitted through mosquitoes. Eastern equine encephalitis are primarily found in eastern USA and southern America whereas Western equine encephalitis in western USA.They are known to mainly attack the nervous system of the horse which results in deadly disease. Vaccination for both of the viruses are given in combination with a single shot.

It is advised to inject the boosters during the spring season. By this, horses will build a strong immunity by the time of summer where there will be a high mosquito population.

West Nile virus:

West Nile Virus Disease is found to be zoonotic disease. The viruses are mainly managed by birds, and then the transmission occurs through mosquitoes to the humans and horses. Vaccination procedures are the same as that of encephalitis.


Streptococcus equi bacteria causes strangles in horses. It mainly causes inflammation of lymph glands beneath the throat which gradually turns into ulceration or cyst. It has to be diagnosed early when there will be a warning sign of cough, fever and edema in the jaw area. The killed injectables and modified live intranasal vaccines are also available.

Non core Vaccinations

Potomac Horse fever: 

It is caused by a bacteria called Neorickettsia risticii. It is advised to provide vaccination for the horses which live near the areas like ponds, river streams etc. Annual boosters have to be given.


It is primarily seen in Mid- Atlantic areas in the USA. Broodmares as well as adult horses should be given with the vaccine in the beginning at 30 days intervals followed by annual vaccination.


Do not miss any of the vaccinations of your pet horse in order to keep them happy and healthy.

We hope you find this helpful and do check out our recent blog Vaccination for Dogs.

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