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Ridgefield Animal Hospital
Vaccines are preparations of killed microorganisms, living weakened microorganisms, or specific portions of microorganisms introduced into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease by causing the formation of antibodies.
Vaccines are very delicate compounds, which if handled or administered incorrectly will be ineffective or neutralized.
Vaccines are administered initially as a two-shot series given one month appart, and then annually or semiannually depending on the vaccine.
The vaccines and vaccine protocols listed below are tailored to our practice and geographic location and follow the guidelines of the AAEP.
Eastern & Western Encephalomyelitis: (EEE and WEE) This encephalomyelitis is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and is often fatal. The vaccine is very effective against the disease. The protection lasts 6 months and due to our long mosquito season we recommend administrating the vaccine twice a year (semiannually).
Tetanus Toxoid: Tetanus is a disease caused by a specific toxin of a bacillus (Clostridium tetani)which usually enters the body through wounds. It is characterized by spasmodic contractions and rigidity of some or all of the voluntary muscles (especially of the jaw, face and neck). The bacteria is found in horse manure. The vaccine is very effective and administered twice yearly in combination with EEE, WEE and WNV. The vaccine is boostered in case of laceration, surgery, or pentrating wounds.
Rhinopneumonitis: Rhinopneumonitis is a herpes virus which causes respiratory infections, abortions, and inflammation of the spinal cord. The vaccine is not 100% effective and the protection only lasts 10-12 weeks. Pregnant mares should be vaccinated at 3,5,7 and 9 months from the breeding date. Horses that are travelling to shows, races, sales, etc. should be vaccinated every 2-3 months. Pleasure horses that do not travel should be vaccinated twice a year. The vaccine does not protect against the neurologic form of the disease.
Influenza:Influenza is a virus that causes high fever and respiratory infection. The vaccine is not 100% effective, and the protection lasts only 10-12 weeks. Horses travelling to shows, sales, racing events, etc..should be vaccinated every 2-3 months. Horses that do not travel should be vaccinated at least twice a year.
Strangles:Strangles is a bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi. It is highly contagious and causes the following signs: high fever, abscessed lymph nodes,and respiratory infection. Horses may develop guttural pouch infections, sinus infections, purpura hemorrhagica, laryngeal paralysis, and bastard strangles. There is an intranasal vaccine which is effective more quickly and doesn't produce injection site swelling like the intramuscular vaccine. However, the intranasal is a live product and will cause abscesses if injected. It is therefore suggested that it be the last vaccine given to an individual. The vaccine is given once a year except in endemic barns ( that have frequent outbreaks) where semiannual vaccination is recommended.