Vaccination may be the furthest thing from your mind this fall, but the rigors of travel, training and performance may be taking a toll on your horse, lowering his ability to fend off illness. Performance horses traveling and in contact with many different horses and environments will likely need fall booster vaccinations. These vaccinations are administered to help prevent highly contagious diseases such as equine influenza virus and equine herpesvirus.
Late summer and fall is also prime mosquito season, which means an increased risk of our horses contracting serious and often fatal diseases like Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE, WEE), and West Nile virus (WNV), which are transmitted by mosquitoes. A fall WNV and EEE/WEE vaccine booster may also be warranted for horses residing in or traveling to areas where these diseases are prevalent.
While there is no one-size-fits-all vaccination recommendation, it is important to work with your veterinarian this fall to assess disease risk and need for booster vaccinations. This provides a good opportunity to do a general health check and make sure your horse is at his best for the fall and winter performance season.
Vaccinations are only part of a good infectious disease control program. Proper management practices to reduce your horse’s exposure to pathogens while on the road can lower the incidence or severity of infectious disease. For more information, visit GetVaccinatingRight.com.
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