A majority of my time is spent undertaking routine Health tasks such as vaccinating, teeth rasping, worming advice and dispelling horsey myths. Vaccinating is a cornerstone of Equine practice and is often undervalued by clients in it’s importance in their Animal’s Health plan and should not just be a necessary cost to allow entry to Competitions.
There are principally two major diseases we vaccinate horses and ponies against:
though additionally animals can be vaccinated against:
- EQUINE HERPES
- EQUINE ROTAVIRUS
Equine Flu is an infectious upper respiratory tract disease of horses. The virus invades the respiratory tract, damaging the lining, causing coughing, a high temperature, nasal and ocular discharges, enlarged lymph nodes, depression and loss of appetite. Coughing allows the virus to be shed further afield and infect new animals leading to outbreaks, locally and Nationally as recently in Australia and South Africa.
Clinical signs usually appear within 1-5 days of exposure to the flu virus and often last for 3-6 weeks. The virus needs to continually infect new hosts, which is achieved by coughing, allowing the rapid shedding of virus particles around neighbouring animals, particularly in the early phases of infection.
VACCINATION will protect your horse when encountering the Influenza virus by REDUCING or even preventing the CLINICAL SIGNS usually seen, allowing a FASTER RECOVERY and importantly REDUCE the SHEDDING of virus to other horses.
As with other Influenza viruses the Equine Flu virus is constantly evolving and changing which means the vaccine you use to protect your horse should be able to keep up protecting against the circulating strains.
Recent outbreaks in the UK are known to be of a strain called Florida Clade 2. Current guidelines of the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) recommend that vaccines should contain both Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains of the Florida sublineage.
We use PROTEQFLU vaccine (with the Florida Clade 2 strain) which is the ONLY vaccine currently available on the market to meet the OIE requirements.
Vaccination protocol (please note some Competition Authorities have differing requirements)
- First booster followed by second booster 21-92 days later.
- A third booster is required 150-215 days later
- Followed by an Annual booster within 365 days.