Get Ready for Vaccine Season

SLT Vaccine Guidelines

Vaccinating is Important

There are many diseases out there, and horses are vulnerable to them. Vaccinating your horse at the proper time, well before exposure to viruses and bacterial diseases, is imperative.

Horses can get sick at any time, but those that are on the go are especially vulnerable. Travel stress can weaken the immune system, and events like horse shows, rodeos, trail rides, breeding shed, etc. make them highly susceptible to diseases spread by other horses.

Your veterinarian remains the best source of advice about the risk potential for your horses, and what you should consider when setting up a comprehensive vaccination schedule.

You’ll be able to stay ahead of the latest threats and virus mutations, and you’ll keep your horses active, healthy, and happy.

Core vs. Risk-Based Vaccines

Because of the sheer amount of threats, keeping on top of them can be a chore. The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has developed schedules for horses as well as foals, separated into two categories: core vaccines, for the more common and widespread diseases, and risk-based vaccines, which are driven more by region or special circumstances.

**All vaccination programs should be developed in consultation with a licensed veterinarian.**

Core Vaccinations

Core Vaccinations protect against diseases that are endemic to a region, are highly contagious, pose a risk of severe disease, and/or are required by law. Core vaccines have clear effectiveness and safety, with a high enough level of patient benefit and low enough level of risk to justify use in all equids.

Disease Broodmares Other Adult Horses
(>1 year of age)
previously vaccinated against the disease indicated
Other Adult Horses
(>1 year of age)
unvaccinated or lacking vaccination history
Comments
Tetanus

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Previously vaccinated: Annual, 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history: 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Annual 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Annual revaccination. Booster at time of penetrating injury or prior to surgery if last dose was administered over 6 months previously.
Eastern/Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE)

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Previously vaccinated: Annual, 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history: 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Annual - Spring, prior to onset of vector season. 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate prior to the onset of the next vector season. Consider 6-month revaccination interval for:
1) Horses residing in epidemic areas
2) Immunocompromised horses
West Nile Virus (WNV)

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Previously vaccinated: Annual, 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Unvaccinated or lacking vaccination history: It is preferable to vaccinate naive mares when open. In areas of high risk, initiate primary series as described for unvaccinated, adult horses. Annual- Spring, prior to onset of vector season. Inactivated whole virus vaccine: 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate prior to the onset of the next vector season. Recombinant canary pox vaccine: 2-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate prior to the onset of the next vector season. Inactivated flavivirus chimera vaccine: 2-dose series: 2nd dose 3-4 weeks after 1st dose. Revaccinate prior to the onset of the next vector season. When using the inactivated or the recombinant product, consider 6-month revaccination interval for:
1) Horses residing in endemic areas
2) Juvenile (<5 years of age)
3) Geriatric horses (>15 years of age)
4) Immunocompromised horses
Rabies Annual, 4-6 weeks pre-partum OR Prior to breeding* Annual Single dose. Annual revaccination *Due to the relatively long duration of immunity, this vaccine may be given post-foaling but prior to breeding and thus reduce the number of vaccines given to a mare pre-partum.

Risk-Based Vaccines

Risk-Based Vaccines are selected for use based on risk assessment performed by, or consulting with, a licensed veterinarian. Use of these vaccines may differ between individuals, populations, and geographic regions. Note: Vaccines are listed in this table in alphabetical order, not in order of priority for use.

**Refer to ’Principles of Vaccination’ in main document for criteria used in performing risk assessment.

Disease Broodmares Other Adult Horses
(>1 year of age)
previously vaccinated against the disease indicated
Other Adult Horses
(>1 year of age)
unvaccinated or lacking vaccination history
Comments
Anthrax Not recommended during gestation. Annual 2-dose series: 2nd dose 3-4 weeks after 1st dose. Annual revaccination. Do not administer oncurrently with antibiotics. Use caution during storage, handling and administration. Consult a physician immediately if human exposure to vaccine occurs by accidental injection, ingestion, or otherwise through the conjunctiva or broken skin.
Botulism Previously vaccinated: Annual, 4-6 weeks pre-partum. Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history: 3-dose series: 1st dose at 8 months gestation. 2nd dose 4 weeks after 1st dose. 3rd dose 4 weeks after 2nd dose Annual 3-dose series: 2nd dose 4 weeks after 1st dose. 3rd dose 4 weeks after 2nd dose. Annual revaccination N/A
Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)

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3-dose series with product labeled for protection against EHV abortion. Give at 5, 7 and 9 months of gestation. Annual (see comments) 3-dose series: 2nd dose 4-6 weeks after 1st dose. 3rd dose 4-6 weeks after 2nd dose. Consider 6-month revaccination interval for:
1) Horses less than 5 years of age
2) Horses on breeding farms or in contact with pregnant mares
3) Preformance or show horses at high risk
Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) Not recommended unless high risk. Annual
Stallions, teasers: Vaccinate 2-4 weeks before breeding season.
Mares: Vaccinate when open
Single dose (See comments) Prior to initial vaccination, intact males and any horses potentially intended for export should undergo serologic testing and be confirmed negative for antibodies to EAV. Testing should be performed shortly prior to, or preferably at, the time of vaccination.
Influenza

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Previously vaccinated:
Inactivated vaccine: Semi-annual with one dose administered 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum.
Canary pox vector vaccine:
Semi-annual with one dose administered 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum.
Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history:
Inactivated vaccine:3-dose series
2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after 1st dose
3rd dose 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
Canary pox vector vaccine:
2-dose series
2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after 1st dose but no later than 4 weeks pre-partum
Horses with ongoing risk of exposure: Semi-annual
Horses at low risk of exposure: Annual.
Modified live vaccine:
Single dose administered intranasally.
Revaccinate semi-annually to annually
Inactivated vaccine:
3-dose series
2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after 1st dose.
3rd dose 3 - 6 months after 2nd dose.
Revaccinate semi-annually to annually
Canary pox vector vaccine:
2-dose series
2nd dose 4 - 6 weeks after 1st dose.
Revaccinate semi-annually
N/A
Leptospirosis Safe for use in pregnant mares
Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history:
2 initial doses 3-4 weeks apart
Previously vaccinated:
Annual revaccination
Annual 2 initial doses 3-4 weeks apart
Annual revaccination
Field safety testing has demonstrated this product is safe for use in pregnant mares.
Potomac Horse Fever (PHF)

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Previously vaccinated:
Semi-annual, with one dose given 4-6 weeks pre-partum
Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history:
2-dose series
1st dose at 8 months gestation.
2nd dose 4-6 weeks pre-partum
Seim-annual to annual 2-dose series
2nd dose 3-4 weeks after 1st dose
Semi-annual or annual booster
A revaccination interval of 3-4 months may be considered in endemic areas when disease risk is high.
Rotavirus 3-dose series
1st dose at 8 months gestation.
2nd and 3rd doses at 4-week intervals thereafter.
Not applicable Not applicable N/A
Snake Bite Please see guidelines for additional information Please see guidelines for additional information Please see guidelines for additional information N/A
Strangles (Streptococcus equi)

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Previously vaccinated:
Killed vaccine containing M-protein:
Semi-annual with one dose given 4 - 6 weeks pre-partum
Previously unvaccinated or having unknown vaccination history:
Killed vaccine containing M-protein: 3-dose series
2nd dose 2 - 4 weeks after 1st dose
3rd dose 4-6 weeks pre-partum
Semi-annual to annual Killed vaccine containing M-protein:
2-3 dose series
2nd dose 2-4 weeks after 1st dose
3rd dose (where recommended by manufacturer) 2-4 weeks after 2nd dose
Revaccinate semi-annually
Modified live vaccine:
2-dose series administered intranasally
2nd dose 3 weeks after 1st dose
Revaccinate semi-annually to annually
Vaccination is not recommended as a strategy in outbreak mitigation.

Vaccination for Foals

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Work with your veterinarian to assess the risk of exposure pertinent to your environment, and develop an individual plan for each animal to be sure all have the latest protection. Use the charts as guidelines to help with your assessment. Remember: Your best chance for a healthy year is vaccinating before the chance of exposure.

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  • Published:
  • Updated: 1/22/2019: 11:59:18 AM ET