What shots do you think are necessary ?
Witch shots do you think are most important for a horse to have and witch do you think are not as important?
Why and why not?
It really depends on what part of the country you are in, where you travel, if you mix a lot with other horses (e.g. show), and if there are any specific risks in your area. We don't travel much and are strictly pleasure riders. We give our mares a 6 way shot in the spring, no West Nile, no stangles, and the vet does rabies.
The core vaccines that ALL horses in the US should have (according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners) are: Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Tetanus, Rabies and West Nile Virus. EEE, WEE and WNV area seen in all parts of the US and are transmitted by biting insects, so there is no contact with other horses necessary for these diseases to spread. These diseases all affect the brain and can lead to lack of control over balance and movement which make horses dangerous to themselves and handlers. EEE has a very high mortality rate. WEE and WNV have lower mortality rates strictly from the disease but because supportive care of a horse that cannot stand is expensive and hard to provide they often get euthanized. Tetanus is caused by a bacteria that horses are EXTREMELY susceptible to and that they shed in their feces. When this bacteria gets into a wound it begins to reproduce and in doing so produces toxins. By the time the number of toxins are high enough to show outward symptoms, the infection is well-progressed and the chance of successful treatment is low. So horses live in high risk situations and this is a deadly disease. Rabies--another deadly disease with a high mortality rate. But with this one besides the fact that a horse that contracts the disease is likely to die, they also tend to expose MULTIPLE humans before they are diagnosed with rabies. (Happens every year.)
Besides those core vaccines, there are several risk-based vaccines that should be given based upon the way a horse is kept, it's use, it's age, etc. The most commonly given risk-based vaccines are Influenza and Equine Herpes Virus, both of which are extremely contageous and a serious risk for any horses who show, trail ride, or live in stabling situations with horses who do any of those sorts of things.
Because there is no "one-size-fits-all" vaccination program for horses, it's important to always discuss your horse's situation with your vet to plan an appropriate vaccination program for your horse.
When the vet came out he said Tetanus (because it's so easy for them to get it, including rust in water/soil/and little bitty scratches from crap in the field) and West Nile, because, once again, SO EASY to get it.
I assume you mean which vaccines and you are not asking about some form of special witchery type product.
My horses get everything that is recommended for my area. Though I discuss it with my vet, really it is not something I just decide what I think is best on.
Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Tetanus, Rhino, West Nile Virus, Potomac Horse Fever, Strangles, Rabies.
For the small cost of the vaccine, to me it is not worth the risk of saving a few bucks and not giving all that is recommended for my area.
The Strangles vaccine does inhibit the severity of disease---proven in studies. And in some cases it may prevent disease altogether. By shortening the course of disease, you shorten the time that other horses may be exposed as well as shortening the time that the sick horse is sick.
In certain situations, the Strangles vaccine is recommended because of the high risk of exposure and increased risk of actually contracting the disease due to age, medical conditions, etc.
This is why (thank you Ryle for saying it first).
Up until recently my boy went to several over night type shows and lived in a boarding/show barn with horses coming in and out for training on a regular basis.
Honestly, I am happy with the vaccine. My horse lived in a box stall next to and across from horses that came down with strangles, severe strangles even and he did not come down with it. (We did not move him after it was noticed because at that point he had already been exposed so did not want to risk contamination of other areas.)
Now that he lives at home and is not showing we discussed discontinuing the vaccine.
I give a six way shot. I also give west nile and a vet friend gives Rabbies.
My vet always tries to sell me West Nile vaccine and I always decline because in the entire state of Utah there is ussually less than a half dozen cases each year. It's kind of like vaccinating against lightning strikes.
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