What Vaccines Do Horses Need in Spring?

It will soon be time for spring equine vaccines in Cannon Falls, MN! If you plan on trail riding or finding socially-distant shows, do not forget to call your horse vet and arrange for updated vaccines. Since farm calls cost extra, you may want to schedule other procedures and secure further confirmation that your horse is happy. Here are the vaccines and health screenings you should plan for your horse this spring:

  • Core vaccinations: These are the bare minimum for vaccine requirements. The core vaccinations address respiratory, insect and environmental transmission of disease. They include the most common infectious diseases. For respiratory illness, arrange for influenza and rhinopneumonitis boosters once or twice a year in the spring and fall. To address insect-borne conditions, prioritize eastern and western encephalitis and West Nile. We administer once a year in spring. Finally, arrange for rabies and tetanus to handle environmental infections.
  • Risk-based vaccinations: Risk-based vaccines go beyond the basics to consider specific circumstances. Horses that show or travel frequently should secure these vaccines. Even if you believe you will have another inactive summer due to COVID-19, you might as well schedule these vaccines in case shows and events open up again. These vaccinations include strangles and Potomac horse fever. Strangles is a second booster in spring, and Potomac horse fever is a spring vaccine. These infections are very contagious, but your horse is only at risk if they travel and meet horses outside their barn.
  • Fecal egg count: Internal parasites are resistant to many deworming medications, so it’s a good idea to focus deworming routines on the type of parasite infecting your horse. When your vet comes by for vaccines, have a single fecal ball ready to test for parasites. The test reveals the species of parasite so you can choose the most effective dewormer. Using dewormer on a schedule builds resistance to parasites. Since pharmaceutical companies are not developing new dewormers, you risk your horse developing a permanent infestation if you do not narrow down your treatment approach.
  • Coggins testing: Coggins tests for equine infectious anemia (EIA), which is devastating to barns and horses. States require it for horses traveling across their borders, and most boarding barns require a negative Coggins as well. Your Coggins travel form is good for one year, so you might as well get it done now in case you end up traveling to shows. Otherwise, you may have to pay an extra farm call or even an emergency fee to rush a Coggins test.

Of course, vaccines are not one size fits all, and your horse may require different or additional vaccines to stay healthy. Our suggestion is to schedule the minimum, at least, and discuss other vaccines with your vet. Once we know about your horse’s activities and lifestyle, we can customize a vaccination program.

Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. is a horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN. Call us today to schedule equine vaccines, fecal counts and any additional tests your horse may need for summer activities.