Vaccines for horses


Today in Mascotea we take another step in our own Campaign of "Vaccination is Preventing"We start with the dogs, then we continue with the cats, ferrets, rabbits, parrots ... Now" play ". horses. You know: The best medicine is Prevention. Do we start

The economic issue

From an economic point of view, having a horse as a pet affects our pocket much more than having, for example, a turtle or a parakeet.

The horse is a Big animal, with many needs Basic as accommodation, I think, hygiene, daily exercise programs ... A maintenance daily that will require an economic disbursement nothing negligible. At a time when the economy is "slow", having a horse has become a real luxury. But if you decide that the horse is your "perfect" pet, you must fully assume the responsibility. Keeping a horse is not just paying a stable or a bag of feed. You should be aware that it is completely necessary to maintain - and pay for - an adequate program of health prevention. How?: Vaccinating, deworming and maintaining an adequate hygiene plan.

Main diseases of horses

Horses - despite appearing so "strong" - are exposed to various diseases. As in the case of other pets, the main diseases that today can affect our hairy pet are different origin:

  • Of viral origin: Produced by those tiny and fearsome microorganisms called "viruses." For example:
    • Equine Flu, also called Influenza.
    • Rage.
    • Nile Fever
    • Equine encephalomyelitis.
  • Of bacteriological origin: Caused by the presence of certain "bad" bacteria (not all are). For example:
    • Mumps, also called adenitis
    • Tetanus

Let's get to know these diseases a little better:

Equine Flu or Influenza

Disease of viral origin very contagiousto. It affects the animal's respiratory system causing various symptom very visible: cough, excess mucus, weakness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite ... If it is treated on time - and correctly - it is not usually fatal, but it is very expensive (high price of medicines). Is the only disease that requires mandatory vaccination, although only for horses that come to horse shows, competitions or meetings.

Equine Rage

Yes, horses can also get that disease that we normally associate with dogs: rabies. As you know, in most cases rabies is a deadly disease. Its incidence in the world equine population is quite low, but we must not "lose sight" which is one of the few diseases that can be transmitted to the human being... In the horses, the symptom of this terrible disease are very equivocal, that is: a slight limp, a colic, a certain loss of appetite can lead to a picture of rage. The rabies vaccine is not mandatory but, as you can see, it is highly recommendable that our horse receives it once a year.

Nile Fever

The Western virus o Nile Fever is a relatively new disease (first appears in New York in 1999). It is transmitted to horses, people and birds by the bite of a mosquito. In horses it produces encephalitis Or, what is the same: inflammation of the brain. The symptom The main ones are lack of coordination, apathy, lethargy, loss of appetite, impaired vision and, in advanced stages, seizures and coma. At the time of writing this article there is no specific vaccine really effective against this terrible disease. Important for amateurs: the well-known Equine Encephalitis vaccine has not been shown to be effective against Nile Fever.

It is one of the infectious diseases with the highest rate of contagion Among the horses The symptom that produces in the animal are varied: lack of coordination, weakness or partial paralysis in the legs, tremor, uncontrolled tics…. It is a disease that, without proper treatment, inevitably leads to death of the animal The annual vaccine It is not mandatory, but yes recommendable.

Mumps or Adenitis

Diarrhea, bleeding, vomiting, cramping ... are some of the symptom of this dangerous disease. Horses of any age can get mumps, but there has been a greater number of incidents between foals and horses under 5 years. Is very contagious and difficult to prevent so it is recommended vaccinate to the foals to the 6 months old and to adult horses twice a year.

The bacteriumClostridium Tetani - present in many cultivated soils, fields and pastures fertilized with manure - is the culprit for tetanus disease. The symptom They are, many times, confusing: the animal may have a somewhat stiff neck and head, may lose some strength in the hind legs, perhaps breathe hard, hold the ears upright ... It is a very dangerous disease that can end the lifetime of our horse in a few hours. How to prevent it ?: Vaccination once a year.

Summary: Vaccination is Preventing

The first thing that clarify the veterinarians specialized in horses is that vaccines do not guarantee 100% Let our animal get a disease. They do not constitute a completely impermeable barrier, but yes they help the horse's immune system to fight against the viruses and bacteria that cause these conditions. In addition, and as we have already commented, in Spain there is only one mandatory vaccine: the Influenza or Equine Flu vaccine. For more "INRI", this vaccine is only mandatory for competition horses or who attend equestrian exhibitions or concentrations.

But please, REMEMBER: although vaccinating is not a legal obligation, any horse keeper responsable You should know that "vaccinating" extends not only the life of your animal, but also guarantees that you enjoy a real quality of life.

Vaccination plan for horses in Spain

Spain does not have specific legislation sThe vaccination program to which horses must be submitted, nor any law that obliges owners to administer these biological preparations. But there is a regulation on the part of different associations and equine federations, especially when the horses are destined for the competition, so it is very important to be knowledgeable about said regulation.

In these cases the administration of 3 vaccines is recommended:

  • Equine flu vaccine: equine influenza or equine influenza is caused by a viral agent (orthomyxovirus). It is a very contagious disease that is transmitted through the air through the expectoration of other animals and has symptoms that are similar to those we may experience when we get sick with the flu. Horses under 5 years old are at great risk of getting the equine flu, and in addition, for this disease there is no specific treatment, but symptomatic, so vaccination is of great importance. The first vaccine should be administered between 4 and 6 months of age, a second dose will be needed after one month and a booster dose every 6 months. In pregnant mares it should be administered between 4 and 6 weeks before delivery.
  • Tetanus: in this case the disease is not contagious, but all horses are susceptible to contracting it, in addition, the prognosis of tetanus is always serious, so vaccination acquires great importance. It is caused by the bacteria Clostr>

Vaccines for horses in Argentina

Unlike Spain, Argentina does contemplate specific legislation for the vaccination of horses, two vaccines and one test being considered mandatory: equine influenza vaccine, equine encephalomyelitis and equine infectious anemia test. The difference in vaccination against equine influenza is the frequency of the doses, since in this country it is stipulated that the vaccine should be administered 4 times a year, each dose coinciding with seasonal changes.

Let's look at the specific aspects of the other mandatory vaccine as well as the test:

  • Vaccine against equine encephalomyelitis: It is a serious disease caused by a virus of the genus alphavirus, causes disorders of consciousness, motor irritation and paralysis, being able to reach a complete paralysis that causes the death of the animal in a period of 2 to 4 days. In tropical areas the vaccine requires an application every 6 months, in other geographical areas an annual administration is sufficient.
  • Equine infectious anemia test: equine infectious anemia is caused by a type of lentivirus that causes a chronic condition characterized by a significant decrease in red blood cells and hemoglobin that results in a significant lack of oxygen, which leads to the death of the animal by an acute picture of the disease or by euthanasia. This disease is manifested by high fever, rapid breathing>

Vaccines for horses in Chile

Chile also has a law that effectively regulates the vaccination plan for horses, considering the following vaccines as mandatory:

  • Vaccine against equine encephalomyelitis: Applies to foals and initially 2 doses are required, with a separation of 30 days. Subsequently, an annual revaccination is necessary during the month of September or October.
  • Equine flu vaccine: the first dose is given at 3 or 4 months of life, a second dose is necessary in the 2 or 6 weeks afterwards and finally an annual booster.

As in Argentina, the equine infectious anemia test is also mandatory.

Vaccines for horses in Mexico

In Mexico there is no standardized vaccination program although the following recommendations are made from the disease prevention program in horses:

  • Vaccine against equine rhinoneumonitis: the first dose is administered between 2 and 4 months, the booster dose is applied 3 months later and from this moment the application is necessary annually.
  • Equine flu vaccine: The first dose is given at 6 months of age, providing a second dose one month later. The third dose is given at 8 months and booster doses will be necessary every 4 or 6 months.
  • Vcradle against tetanus: in pregnant mares should be administered between 4 and 6 weeks before delivery. In the other cases, it requires a first dose and a booster dose, after which vaccination will be carried out annually.
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis vaccine: it is a viral disease that involves fever, prostration, malaise, weakness, nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite, the disease can evolve to give neurological symptoms that indicate inflammation of the brain such as seizures or drowsiness, in severe cases it can cause death. The first dose of the vaccine is administered at 4 months and subsequently the booster is annual, the vaccine being administered during the spring.
  • Rabies vaccine: It is a deadly neurological disease of viral origin that can also be transmitted to humans and causes significant brain inflammation. It is not usual to see it in horses but in endemic areas annual vaccination is recommended, except in the case of pregnant females.
  • Vaccine against gurma or papera equina: It is a bacterial disease that affects the upper respiratory tract and is highly contagious, finally manifesting itself through purulent abscesses that appear in the region of the trachea. The vaccine should be administered annually, although in case of an outbreak, various applications can be made.
  • West Nile virus vaccine: It is a viral disease that causes encephalitis and manifests itself through neurological symptoms such as anorexia, inability to swallow, facial paralysis and behavioral disorders. It can be lethal. The first dose is administered at 6 months and for the complete immunization 1 or 2 more doses are required, then it must be administered every 6 months.

Also discover in Expert Expert the first aid in horses!

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Vaccines for horses, we recommend that you enter our Vaccination section.

Vaccine against equine influence or flu

This disease is not dangerous but it is very convenient to provide it to avoid unpredictable consequences. It's about a highly contagious virusTherefore, it is advisable to vaccinate the equine, first at three months of life, in a first dose and the next at five or six weeks of life.

It is not advisable to vaccinate the foal before because while it is ingesting the mother's colostrum is immunized against all viruses, especially the equine influence. Booster vaccines are recommended to be twice a year, throughout the life of the horse.


To avoid situations that endanger the life of the horse it is recommended to vaccinate them against tetanus, following the same guidelines as the equine influence. The tetanus prevents infections mostly caused by wounds, to which horses are very prone. It is recommended to be vaccinated annually. The guidelines are mostly similar to any species that needs this vaccine to prevent.

Vaccine against infectious equine rhinoneumonitis

Very important for the abortion prevention and for the rest it prevents all respiratory problems. Although it is recommended to administer the first dose in the first months of life, to follow an annual reinforcement, in pregnant mares a dose is recommended from the fifth month, seventh and ninth precisely to avoid abortions.

As we have seen, it is important, at least, to vaccinate horses to prevent certain viruses and diseases as well as to provide you with well-being However, the veterinarian will be in charge of following the guidelines and keeping the correct vaccine schedule.

Vaccination and deworming

At present the best medicine that can be performed is preventive and among them we have vaccines that protect your horse from the ravages of disease.

Vaccines administered by your veterinarian to your horse put a barrier between the animal and a wide list of problems. Among the most common are:

Influenza or influenza (only mandatory in horses that compete and attend equestrian concentrations).

Tetanus and rhinopneumonitis, although it can also be vaccinated for rabies, equine papera.

More recently, West Nile Virus.

The vaccinations they are a vital part of equine management and if incorporated into a program that includes periodic deworming, supply of clean, fresh and abundant water, correct and methodical nutrition plus a safe environment, your horse can stay much happier and healthier.

A correct vaccination program is an essential part of a responsible owner, but it should be noted that vaccination does not guarantee the total protection of your horse and sometimes only decreases the severity of the disease. Certain problems may occur at the time of vaccination, problems ranging from a benign reaction located at the injection site, to an allergic reaction (very rare side effect). A slight inflammation at the injection site can occur in all types of vaccines, is not serious and usually disappears in less than 48 hours.

The specific immunizations a horse needs will depend on several factors: the environment, age, use of the horse, risk exposure, horse value, geographic location and general management.

Your veterinarian can help you determine the vaccination program that best suits your horse based on individual needs.