Henderson County Veterinary Hospital

PO Box 391
Athens, TX 75751

(903)675-5613

hcvethospital.com

Preventative Care of Horses



Normal Vital Signs
Temperature: Foals: 99-102.7*F
                        Adults: 99-101.3*F
Heart Rate: Foals up to 3 months: 64-128 beats per minute
                     3 months up to 2 years old: 40-80 beats per minute
                     Adult: 28-40 beats per minute
Respiration Rate: 10-14 breaths per minute

Equine Vaccination Schedules
Ask a simple question and you can get a very complex answer. Writing a "typical" vaccination schedule for a horse is a complex process. Since horses are so many things to so many different people we have decided to divide them into three categories for purposes of recommended vaccination schedules. Dividing the horses by the various jobs that they do, we came up the following categories and vaccination protocols.

Companion Horses
The annual schedule our practice suggests for horses that stay at home and do not come into contact with strange horses is as follows: 
                  ANNUAL: -Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis
                                   -West Nile Virus Vaccine (recommended every 6 months)
                                   -Tetanus Toxoid
                                   -Rabies

The annual schedule is different for horses that share a fence with neighboring horses or those that travel to events. In such cases we suggest the following:
                  ANNUAL: -Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis
                                   -West Nile Virus Vaccine (recommended every 6 months)
                                   -Tetanus Toxoid
                                   -Rabies
                                   -Strangles Vaccine (if desired)
                                   -Rhinopneumonitis and Influenza

For those horse owners who plan to take their animal to a trail ride or other outing only a few times a year, we suggest a booster of the following two weeks before the event:
                  BOOSTER: -Rhinopneumonitis and Influenza
                                       -Strangles Vaccine

For horses that are hauled to multiple events throughout the year, we suggest the following boosters based on the amount of travel. The boosters may be administered as often as every two months. 
                  BOOSTER: -Rhinopneumonitis and Influenza
                                       -Strangles Vaccine


Breeding Horses
Our practice suggests a similar vaccination schedule for animals that will be traveling to breeding farms. These horses are exposed to many strange horses at such a time. We recommend: 
                  ANNUAL: -Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis
                                   -West Nile Virus Vaccine (recommended every 6 months)
                                   -Tetanus Toxoid
                                   -Rabies
                                   -Strangles Vaccine (if desired)
                                   -Rhinopneumonitis and Influenza
                  BOOSTER: Pregnant mares should be given a booster of Rhinopneumonitis vaccine in their 5th, 7th, and 9th month of gestation- or simply every 60 days during gestation. A booster of Strangles vaccine could be given two weeks prior to exposure to unknown horses.

Stallions: We recommend the same vaccination as for the companion/performance horses

Foals: Foals may receive their first set of vaccinations as early as two months of age. Vaccinating at three or four months of age is acceptable. Please contact our veterinarian for a vaccination schedule to be made for your foals.