Vaccine Recommendations

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) causes encephalitis in birds, horses and humans. The virus is transmitted from infected birds by mosquitoes. Humans and horses appear to be especially susceptible. Studies done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that infected horses will not transmit WNV to other horses or to people. However care should be taken when handling blood from suspect animals.

Symptoms of disease caused by WNV may include the following:

* Flu-like signs (fever and depression)
* Skin twitching, especially around the muzzle
* Hypersensitivity to touch and sound
* Driving or pushing forward without control
* Incoordination

Because permanent neurological problems and death can occur, early recognition and initiation of treatment is important. No specific treatment protocol exists however most cases will resolve with supportive therapy and anti-inflammatories.

Efforts to prevent disease in horses caused by WNV is through the use of the West Nile Virus Vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. The most effective way to limit the mosquito population is to destroy the mosquito larval habitat. This is done by reducing the amount of standing water. Water troughs should be cleaned at least once a week. Keeping weeds trimmed and lawn mowed help eliminate areas where mosquitoes rest. Directly protecting horses from mosquito bites is more difficult. Fly and mosquito repellents may be helpful. Products containing pyrethroids are considered safe for horses. Spray stalls, aisle walls and other areas such as under shade trees where horses congregate. Fans can also be used to discourage mosquitoes from residing in your barn.

Deworming recommendations

Please call for a well managed preventative program.

Vaccinations

Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, etc. introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies.

Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized.

Vaccines are administered initially as a two-shot series and then annually or semiannually.

The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP.

Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis

Encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. The protection lasts 6 months, therefore we recommend administrating the vaccine twice a year(semiannually).

Tetanus Toxoid

Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani)which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). It is found in the soil, dust and animal feces. The vaccine is very effective and administered once yearly. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system of mammals. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva of infected animals. It is 100% fatal. The vaccine is given once yearly and is very effective.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Because Long Island has a long mosquito season and the vaccine protection lasts 6-7 months, we recommend semiannual vaccination. Horses that travel to Florida should be boostered 2 weeks before travelling. Veterinarians in problem areas vaccinate 2-4 x per year.

Rhinopneumonitis

Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord. The vaccine is not 100% effective and the protection only lasts 10-12 weeks. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 3.5, 7 and 9 months from the breeding date. Horses that are travelling to shows, races, sales, etc. should be vaccinated every 3 months. Pleasure horses that do not travel should be vaccinated twice a year. The vaccine does not protect against the neurologic form of the disease.

Influenza

Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only 10-12 weeks. Horses travelling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated every 3 months. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated at least twice a year.

Potomac Horse Fever(PHF)

Potomac Horse Fever is caused by the parasite Ehrlichia risticii. Horses are infected through small land snails that carry the parasite. It is not contagious and occurs more commonly in wet areas. The disease causes high fever, laminitis, and severe diarrhea. The vaccine is fairly effective and is administered once a year. It is administered 2-4 x yearly in -problem areas.

Strangles

Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is more effective than the intramuscular vaccine. The vaccine is given once a year except in endemic barns( that have frequent outbreaks) where semiannual vaccination is recommended.

Routine Dentistry

Horses need regular preventive dental maintenance annually. Unlike people, horses’ teeth have an eruption rate of two-three mm per year. The teeth should wear in correspondence to yearly eruption rate. Malocclusions, or improper position of the teeth, can lead to many health issues and behavioral problems.

Identifying dental problems as early as possible is important. Some symptoms you might notice when a dental problem exists include: loss of food while eating; eats hay before his grain; grain in water bucket; difficulty chewing or excess salivation; loss of body condition; large undigested food particles in manure larger than one quarter inch; head tilting or tossing; bit chewing; tongue lolling; tries to rear while bridling; fighting the bit or resisting the bridal; bucking or failing to stop or turn; foul odor from the mouth or nostrils; traces of blood in the mouth; or nasal discharge or swelling of the face. Other horses may not show noticeable signs, because they just simply adapt to their discomfort.