Prevention is ultimately better than cure, and vaccinations play an important role in preventing disease in horses.
Vaccinations are used to:
- Reduce the risk of a disease outbreak occurring
- Reduce the spread of disease in the event of an outbreak
- Decrease the severity of illness in affected animals.
Vaccinations are available for a number of diseases that affect horses in the UK. Some of these diseases can be fatal. The most important vaccinations that are applicable to all horses are those for tetanus and equine influenza. Vaccination against other diseases may only be appropriate for horses that travel overseas or are used for breeding.
The principle of all vaccinations is to initiate a course of injections followed by booster doses at specific intervals, the frequency of which depends on the type of vaccine and the immunity provided. The cost of routine vaccinations for tetanus and influenza is not covered by insurance policies.
However, vaccinations are relatively inexpensive given the expense involved in keeping horses and they can save lives as well as avoiding large veterinary bills.
This Tetanus and Equine Influenza vaccinations advice leaflet will tell you all about the two diseases and how much vaccination can help your horse.