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* This is the Veterinary Version. *

Vaccinations in Horse Reproduction

By Patricia L. Sertich, MS, VMD, DACT, Associate Professor of Reproduction-Clinician Educator, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Vaccination programs should follow a continuous, year-round schedule based on local health problems. Vaccination against rhinopneumonitis should be performed at 5, 7, and 9 mo of gestation. Vaccines that require annual boosters should be administered 4–6 wk before the mare’s due date to stimulate the dam to produce antibodies that will be transferred to the foal via the colostrum (see Table: Example of Vaccination Schedule for Broodmares). Detailed information regarding current vaccination recommendations is available at http://www.aaep.org/vaccination_guidelines.htm. Colostrum should be ingested in the first 24 hr of life to effectively provide passive transfer of immunoglobulins.

Example of Vaccination Schedule for Broodmares

Vaccine

Schedule

Equine rhinopneumonitis (inactivated)

EHV-1 at 5, 7, and 9 mo of gestation; EHV-1/EHV-4 4–6 wk before due date

Tetanus (toxoid)

4–6 wk before due date

Equine influenza

4–6 wk before due date; if unvaccinated, initially administer two doses at 4–6 wk intervals and then a third dose 4–6 wk before due date

Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis

Usually administered to mares in late spring or early summer before onset of insect season; initially administer two doses at a 4–6 wk interval; 4–6 wk before due date

Rabies

4–6 wk before due date

Botulism (toxoid)

Initially three doses at 4–6 wk intervals, then annual booster 4–6 wk before due date

West Nile virus

Initially two doses at a 4–6 wk interval; 4–6 wk before due date

Rotaviral diarrhea

8, 9, and 10 mo of gestation

Equine viral arteritis (modified-live virus)

A negative titer should be documented by a USDA-approved laboratory before vaccination; pregnant mares should not be vaccinated; open mares should be vaccinated before breeding to a positive stallion that is shedding the virus; vaccinated horses must be isolated for 3 wk after vaccination; annual boosters recommended; positive titers may cause problems if mare is to be exported or bred on certain farms. (Stallions should also be vaccinated 3 mo before breeding.)

Equine monocytic ehrlichiosis (Potomac horse fever)

Initially administer two doses at a 3–4 mo interval; 4–6 wk before due date

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* This is the Veterinary Version. *