so.... you SK people, can someone answer this for me? (I called two vet clinics in Meadow Lake and neither could tell me what vaccines were recommended for horses...)
I'm doing the 5 way on both horses. I've never vaccinated before and actually don't know anyone who does up here. But this shot includes Eastern + Western Encephalomyoalitis (hahahahaha, whatever), Influenza, Tetanus and Rhino. Are there any others I REALLY should do? I see there was only one confirmed West Nile case in an equine in 2010, but should I do that anyway? (It's $50 though!) What about strangles? Rabies?
I'm not an "SK person", but I do 3-ways (Tetanus, EEE, WEE) + West Nile + nasal Strangles if I board him somewhere else for the winter. I will also vaccinate for Rabies this year.
I don't do Influenza, cause very similar to the human vaccine, the strains change from year to year, so the protection is not very good. My horse also lives in a pretty stable environment without a lot of horse movement, so not a lot of contact with strange horses.
I don't do Rhino (EHV-1), because - like all Herpesvirus vaccines - it's not efficient. The Rhino vaccine can protect against the clinical signs of Rhinopneumonitis, but it neither prevents infection nor shedding, nor spread of the virus. If I had a broodmare I might consider Pneumabort (EHV-1, supposed to protect from clinical signs of Rhino and abortions). The clinical signs of Rhino are usually not that bad, the really bad clinical manifestation of EHV-1 is the neurological form, against which there is no vaccine.
Technically, there is a risk of WEE in northern Alberta, since it has been found there historically and the mosquito species that transmits it still occurs there. But I think the last case was in the 80s, so I'm not too worried. EEE only occurs in eastern Canada and the US and is transmitted by a different mosquito species. The vaccines have good protection though.
I do West Nile, cause it's very much dependent on the climate and the abundance of the mosquitoes whether it will be a big West Nile season or not. So it's hard to know beforehand how the season will go (e.g. there might only have been one case in 2010, but 2007 was a big WNV year). The vaccine has good protection. Most of the WNV cases in AB were in the South though, and I don't think there have been any north of Edmonton, so I'm not sure how worried you should be.
I don't know very much about bacteria, but as far as I'm aware the intramuscular strangles vaccine is practically useless. The intranasal one has a bit better protection, but still not 100%. The one time I had it done (the one place I was boarding at for the winter requested it) I waited till he needed his teeth done, and when he was sedated it wasn't a big fight to squirt the vaccine into the nose.