The Importance of a Sound
Vaccination is a term with which every horse owner is
familiar. Moreover, many do not realize the importance
of a well-planned vaccination program for horses. A
vaccination program, designed by a veterinarian, will
help ensure the horses in a stable stay healthy and
productive. An effective and successful vaccination
program against infectious diseases is an essential
component and key management tool for any horse
operation wishing to institute a preventative medicine
program. Horses, just like people, are constantly
exposed to bacterial and viral organisms. Many of these
can cause mild to debilitating diseases. This risk is
especially significant when horses are shipped to
tracks, farms, or other stables. The more a horse is
away from his home environment and mingled with other
horses, the greater the chance of exposure to potential
carriers of infectious diseases. This is particularly
true of respiratory diseases. Infectious disease
control programs, in conjunction with vaccination, are
important in maximizing the health, productivity, and
performance of a horse. A veterinarian can help design
a health program to reduce exposure to infectious
disease agents in a horse’s environment to lessen the
incidence of illness. Disease control programs should
be tailored to individual needs, with consideration
given to ages, types, activities, and number of horses
in the program.
Note: This information was
provided by the AAEP It should be used as a basis in
discussing specific needs with YOUR veterinarian. His or
her recommendations will be based on a variety of
factors, including age, sex, type of horse, and
geographic location. He or she will have insight into
the diseases endemic to a region and the likelihood of
disease outbreaks at specific times of year.
Vaccination and Passive Transfer
It is important to vaccinate
broodmares 4 to 6 weeks before foaling for their own
protection, as well as to maximize concentrations of
immunoglobulin in their colostrum to be passively
transferred to their foals.
I inoculate my Mares with EWT 30
to 45 days prior to anticipation of foaling.
Recognize that simply vaccinating the mare is not
sufficient for protection of the foal;
successful passive transfer must
also occur. The foal must receive adequate
amounts of high quality colostrum and absorb adequate
amounts of specific colostral immunoglobulins before
absorption of macromolecules ceases (generally within 12- 24
hours). Specific colostral immunoglobulins provide
protection against field infections for several months but
also may interfere with vaccinal antigens and may interfere
with foal responses to vaccines; a phenomenon termed
“maternal antibody interference.”
Although protective concentrations of maternal antibody
decline with time, vaccination of a foal while these
colostral antibodies are present - even at concentrations
less than those considered to be protective - is often of
minimal value because of maternal antibody interference.
Consequently, a foal may be susceptible to infection before
the primary vaccinal series is completed. Management
directed at minimizing exposure to infectious agents is key
during this interval.
Foals with residual maternal antibodies generally
produce a greater serologic response to killed vaccines
when an initial series of three doses is administered
rather than the 2-dose series recommended by most
manufacturers of vaccines for older horses without
residual maternal antibodies.
~ PLEASE NOTE ~ YES
Miniature Horse require the same
dose as big
special attention to the safety indications regarding
vaccinations for pregnant mares. Also READ the fine
print and do Not assume that if it is safe for a big horses
it is safe for a horse 1/4 in size.
Do NOT give Miniature Horses the "Combo"
shots (shots that include West Nile) it is too
much for their systems, some companies in the fine print
warn against it's use on ponies. DO NOT give West
Nile to Miniatures in their first trimester of
pregnancy. Make sure your breeding stallions are
inoculated 3 months prior to season.
Miniature Horses if you need to give, as an example,
EE/T and WN (Double or Triple Encephalomylitis, Tetanus
and West Nile) Give your EE/T in one side of the neck or
buttocks one week, then give the West Nile separately A
WEEK LATER in the other side. OR if you use EE/F/T Give
it in 2 shots, EE/F then a couple days later give the T.
my vaccines separate in the 10 dose vials.
here for a guide on how to give Intramuscular
- My de-worming program has worked well for me. I
use 3 different parasitic wormers throughout the
year, in the fall/winter I use Ivermectin for Bots.
I add a wormer
that also eradicates tape worm in the spring. I use
a mild dewormer every 30 days up to 6 months of age for foals.
Since late 2008 I base giving my horses medicine to
kill parasites on a "if needed" basis by having a
fecal egg count done then "IF needed" mine receive a
dose in the Spring and Fall only.
done by the weight of the horse so pick up a pony
weight tape, measure around the mini just behind the
front legs and it will give you an idea of the weight of your
animal. Be sure not to overdose. And make sure the
ring on the wormer does not slip. Don't panic if you
do, most such as Ivermectin and Fenbendazole are
safe enough that you can double or triple with no
side effects but BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL with others.
Moxidectrin (one brand name is Quest)
on a Miniature Horse, there is NO room for error -UNLESS
you know for a fact the horses weight and also the
horses history in that you are positive it
does not have a high worm load.
1. Conduct fecal egg count tests
for all horses on your property. You can purchase
test kits on-line. All you do is put some of your
horse's manure in a small vial, fill out the form,
include a check (usually under $20), and mail it off.
You'll receive your results in the mail in a week or so.
Or you can have your veterinarian do the test for you.
2. Immediately de-worm horses with positive test results
(more than 100 eggs).
3. For horses with negative test results (100 eggs or
less), deworm ONLY TWICE a year as above. with a dewormer
that contains praziquantel and ivermectin (e.g., Zimecterin
Gold or Equimax) The first deworming should be during
mid-fly season and the second during the winter freeze.
The reason you must still deworm with praziquantel is
that bots and tapeworms don’t show up on fecal egg counts.
Praziquantel is especially effective against these kinds of
parasites. With miniatures be very careful.
If a horse is carrying a very heavy
parasite load, it is best to de-worm gradually! a large
die-off of parasites can make a horse very ill..to the point
of colic and death. If your horse has a very high fecal egg
count, consult your veterinarian before de-worming.
Here is some good information from the
Equine Internal Parasites
De-Worming Pregnant Mares -NOT in
After the foal is up, dry and has had it's
colostrum I then give the mare a warm mash, I also
give her a little Banamine for pain. Shortly there
after she will be wormed.
I myself never deworm a mare in the last
trimester of pregnancy. I worm with tube Ivermectin
on the day her foal is born, immediately after her
first stool. This will passively transfer to the
- There are a lot of
dewormers out there that you can use on pregnant
mares but before you purchase a wormer for your mare, just
check over the label quick and see if it's safe for
pregnant and/or lactating mares.
NEVER use Moxidectrin, one brand name is "Quest" on
a Miniature Horse, there is no room for error
-UNLESS you know for a fact the horses weight and
the horses history in that you are positive it
does not have a high worm load.
- There is so much nice deep muscle in the rump,
that is the ideal spot on a mini. It can be
dangerous on a big one, but I used to give the shots
in the butt of the big ones too. I sure wouldn't
want a shot in the neck! I try to give two shots at
a time. And I ALWAYS watch for reactions. I give the
shots on a day when I will be home, give it early in
the day so I can watch and if I have to call the vet
it isn't overtime!
- I always have a drawn up and ready dose of epi.
with me when I'm giving inoculations.
- I've given my own vaccines since we've had
horses, & the only problem was a swollen spot on the
neck and the mare did not want to lower her head, it
was obvious for days she was stiff, my vet said it
was caused by failing to get the injection firmly in
muscle where it could be absorbed. with the smaller
muscle mass on the minis, he recommends the butt
site. Most years I've bought the vaccines from Jeffers, the EWT &
the Rhino-flu in separate injections. We have a law
in Ga. mandating that all horses in the state must
have a coggins test for EIA at least once a year,
comes out to do those and rabies.
- Rhino shots are known to
produce swelling and soreness sometimes especially when
given in the neck. Any vaccine marked Intramuscular
Injection is best given in the large muscles of the
rear end along the back of the leg. Do not give them
in the top of the hip/croup, or the "side" of the
hip as the sciatic nerve runs between the gluteal
muscles in that area. Your vet can show you the safe
places to give injections, and you will save a lot of
- -- If you stay in horses very long
there will probably come a time a horse needs shots
daily and then you can do it without having the vet
out daily! --- If the amount of a med to be given is
more than 2cc I also divide the dose so there isn't
such a large amount that must be absorbed from one
site. ALWAYS wet the intended injection site with
alcohol to avoid introducing bacteria into the site
as the needle penetrates the skin, this one simple,
and often not done, act can prevent many abscesses
- --- I order my vaccines through
Jeffers Equine Supply and have always been
satisfied with the service and prices. You can
request a catalog at 1-800-533-3377--- Cost is a
bit cheaper than buying the vaccines separate
like I used to. I get it by the 10 dose vials
which, saves a little more.
Please sign my Guestbook before you
leave. I appreciate hearing any suggestions you may have.
all rights reserved