Along with spring cleaning, spring shows and the fight against mud in order to keep your horse clean, an important thing that should be on your “to do” list is spring vaccination. These are especially important for horses that will be spending a lot of time off the property, such as heading out to shows, group hacks, lessons at another barn, etc.
The “biggies” that horse owners need to be aware about are Equine Encephalomyelitis (Eastern, Western and Venezuelan), Equine Influenza, West Nile Virus, Rhinopneumonitis (EHV1 and EHV4), Rabies, Strangles, Tetanus, Potomac Horse Fever, Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM), Rabies, and Botulism.
Some horses are at a higher risk for these diseases than others, depending on your geographic location and the amount of “strange” horses your horse will be exposed to. Talk to your vet about what your horse does (or does not) need.
Also, many horse owners tend to break up their spring vaccinations into two different days so that the horse’s immune system isn’t over-loaded with too many things at once. Depending on what vaccinations your horse will require, in some cases only one visit is needed. Talk to your stablemates about their vaccination choices and plan the second set of vaccinations on the same day (if possible) to lower the cost of the vet’s visit by splitting the call fee.
Happy riding and enjoy the spring weather!