Horse Vaccines: When and Why

We recommend that all horses are vaccinated to protect against Tetanus, Influenza, and the Herpes Virus. Below is a brief description of the diseases and their recommended vaccination regime:


Tetanus is a disease caused by a bacteria, that produces a toxin that attacks the nervous system of the horse leading to neurological signs in the horse which tend to be fatal.

Protection is achieved by two primary vaccinations approximately 1-2 months apart, followed by a third a year later. Boosters are required 18-24 months thereafter.


Influenza is caused by a virus. Signs exhibited by a horse with influenza can be high temperature and respiratory signs. Horses generally required long periods of rest due to the damaging effects on the lungs.

The primary course is 3 vaccinations: The interval between the 1st and 2nd shot are 3 weeks-3months and the interval between the 2nd and 3rd shot is 5-7 months. Boosters are required annually within 12 months. Note: Competitions under FEI regulations requires horses to be vaccinated on a 6 monthly basis.


This infection is caused by the herpes virus. There are several types of herpes virus but the most common type causes respiratory infection. Other types can cause abortion and paralysis in horses.

The recommended regime is 2 vaccinations 4 weeks apart and then a booster every 6 months. A separate protocol is required for pregnant mares.

If you need some more guidance on vaccines, please do give us a call.

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