If there is one thing that most people can agree on when it comes to their horses, it is that they want them to stay healthy. Although they can agree on this fact, not everyone agrees on what tactics work. If you own horses, then you should already know that veterinarians strongly suggest annual vaccinations. Nowadays, people are looking at all different kinds of methods to keep their animals healthy. One thing that you don’t want to forget about, however, is the vaccines. If you’re on the fence about vaccines, here is what you need to know about them.
Conditions You Vaccinate Against
First, it’s important to understand the most common conditions that your horse needs vaccinations to treat. Here some of them:
- West Nile Virus
- Eastern Encephalitis
Each one of these illnesses can result in severe consequences. Rabies, for instance, leads to certain death, whereas the other three have the potential to lead to death and often will if left untreated. In fact, over half of all horses will die from these conditions, even with treatment. The risk of going unvaccinated is not worth your horse’s life.
Even if your horse never leaves the farm, you are still at risk for these illnesses. Rabies, for instance, spreads through the bites of rabid animals. West Nile and Eastern Encephalitis spread through mosquitos. The most common, however, is tetanus. Tetanus lives in the soil and enters the horse’s body through wounds on the foot. All of these conditions are preventable with vaccinations.
Vaccinations Are Effective
The vaccines that prevent disease are effective. Some people don’t think that their horses are going to contract a disease. In some cases, a disease might be rare, but the truth is, you don’t want your horse to be the one that contracts it. Rabies, for instance, is rare in horses. However, when it does spring up, not only do you lose your horse, but also everyone who had contact with the horse has to go through expensive post-exposure therapy. If you simply vaccinate your horse, then you don’t have to worry about that.
Some illnesses, on the other hand, are completely common. Tetanus, for instance, is something that all horses need vaccinations to treat. If you want to get horse vaccines online, you can even take part in that. Online equine medication centers tend to carry a wide variety of vaccines. Tetanus, of course, is the most common one to find.
Which Vaccines to Get
If you’re about to vaccinate your horse, you may need some idea of which vaccinations to get them every year. Many vaccinations are yearly, with some being semi-annually. Here is what you need to know:
- Use the vaccines against Eastern and Western Encephalitis, Tetanus and West Nile Virus every spring
- Use the vaccine against rabies every spring or fall
- Use the Flu/Rhino vaccine semi-annually in the spring and fall
- Use the Strangles vaccine in the spring
- Use the Potomac Horse Fever vaccine semi-annually in the spring and fall
It’s important, even when you don’t think your horse is at particular risk to take care of the vaccinations. If you miss vaccinating your horse every year, you may end up with an ill horse or worse because of it.
When it comes to treating your horse for illness, there are some conditions that you never want your horse to contract. Some illnesses are fatal if contracted by a horse. This is why there are vaccines to help protect against them if they happen. While some may be rare, you need vaccines for many common illnesses. While there may be many ways to care for your horse, skipping vaccines is not one of them.