Vaccination and Deworming Recommendations for Your Horse

Vaccination and Deworming Recommendations for Your Horse

Every horse should receive the following vaccinations each spring:


Rabies is a constant threat to horses and their owners in Campbell County and the surrounding area. The frequency of the disease is low, but the consequence of infection for horses and humans is death. The financial cost of treating people who have been exposed to a positive horse is between $10,000 and $20,000 per person. Do not leave this vaccine out of your program.

West Nile Virus:

West Nile Virus is established in our area. Animal Medical Center treated multiple confirmed cases of West Nile Virus infection last year with 50% mortality rate in the unvaccinated horses.  Nationally, last year there were a record number of human cases of West Nile Virus.  The vaccine we use has been highly effective at preventing symptoms of clinical disease or decreasing severity of the disease!  With new FDA labeling on the Zoetis (formerly Pfizer) West Nile Innovater vaccine for WNV, horses only require one dose annually after the initial two doses 30 days apart

Sleeping Sickness/Tetanus (3-way):

Nationally, the high level of vaccination has reduced the prevalence of Sleeping Sickness disease to very low levels. Tetanus   protection is relatively short lived with vaccination, but very effective in preventing infection associated with traumatic injury.


Rhino-flu is a vaccine against the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV). EHV is capable of causing respiratory disease, abortions and neurological disease. Vaccination is effective against the respiratory and abortion forms of the disease, but rarely effective against the neurogenic form.

Rhino-flu vaccinations should be boosted according to the following guidelines:

Ranch/pleasure horses:  one to two shots annually

Roping/Rodeo horses:  two shots annually (Spring and Fall)

Young Futurity and Show horses:  four shots annually

*The ‘four-way’ vaccine is still very popular and contains sleeping sickness, tetanus, and flu (Fluvac EWT).  We stock this product, but do not recommend it alone, because it does not protect your horse against Rhino.

Vetera Gold is a 6-way product, produced by Boehringer Ingleheim, which Animal Medical Center is now stocking. It contains Eastern&Western Sleeping Sickness, Tetanus, Rhinopheumonitis, Equine Influenza and West Nile Virus antigens.

Foals: Discuss a foal vaccination program with your veterinarian with respect to your operation.

Pregnant mares should be vaccinated with Prodigy or Pneumabort K1b at 5, 7, and 9 months of pregnancy to help prevent Rhino abortions.  They should be vaccinated with Fluvac EWT (4-way), Rabies, WNV, and dewormed with Strongid Paste about 4 weeks before foaling.  This helps to insure that the immunity from the mare is passed on to the foal in her colostrum.

Optional vaccines are for Strangles (also called distemper) and Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) for stallions.

Deworming should be performed on every horse 2 – 6 times yearly depending upon your operations level of confinement.  We highly recommend Equimax (for tapeworms) at least once yearly. Eqvalan and Quest are very effective, but you should alternate with products such as Strongid Paste.  In a low exposure situation (i.e. a ranch), you can get by with deworming less frequently.  Mares and foals should both be dewormed with a Strongid Paste at ten days of age.

Your horse’s teeth need to be checked annually as they may need to have dental work done (floating).  Many horses will need to have a maintenance float every 1-2 years. Be sure to check yearlings for wolf teeth which can be done along with castration for stud colts.

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