Spring Vaccinations 101

Confused about which shots your horse needs this spring? Karlie Mitchell explains the basics.

Top: Mykola Velychko/Photo Xpress

From Karlie:

As horse owners we are constantly striving to maintain good health in our horses and part of this regular horse care routine involves vaccinations. Vaccines stimulate an immune response to an antigen.

What you need to vaccinate for really depends on your location geographically and your horse’s risk factor. Risk factors include: exposure to other horses, age, environment, and previous vaccination history.

Some things to always keep in mind regarding vaccines includes: no vaccine is 100% guaranteed, vaccines are not effective immediately, they are not risk free, and boosters may be required.

The AAEP defines the core vaccines as:

• Tetanus
• Rabies
• Eastern/Western Encephalomyelitis
• West Nile

AAEP defines risk-based vaccines as:

• Influenza
• Potomac Horse Fever
• Strangles
• Rotavirus
• Botulism
• Anthrax
• Equine Viral Arteritis

Most horses require the listed core vaccines, but administration of the risk factor vaccines should be evaluated with a veterinarian. Horses should be monitored after vaccination for reactions. Reactions to vaccines include but are not limited to soreness and swelling at injection site, body aches, or fevers within 24-48 hours. Anaphylactic reactions are possible and can be life threatening.

Remember to talk to your vet and have all your vaccinations administered prior to exposures this spring!


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