11 foalVaccinations for Horses

It is time to protect your horse’s health by scheduling an in clinic or barn appointment for vaccinations. Determining vaccine protocol for your horse is complex. There are many factors to consider such as: age, occupation, home/stable environment, and general health status. Our doctors will help you determine which vaccines your individual horse needs and will answer questions about disease protection.


Common Myths About Vaccinations

Myth: More is Better

Some well meaning horse owners think that they should vaccinate for everything to protect their equine partner. It is important to balance the potential risk with the potential benefits. Although vaccines are safe when administered as directed, occasionally adverse reactions will occur. This risk increases with the number of vaccines administered. Our doctors will discuss your horse’s lifestyle and assess individual needs to best determine a vaccine program. It is not a one program fits all.

Myth: Old Horses Shouldn’t Have Vaccines

Managing older horses requires special considerations. As your horse ages, their immune function decreases. Protecting against serious diseases is very important. Our doctors will help you select the vaccines that are most important.  An option may be to space the vaccines one at a time to ease the response on the immune system.

Myth: Ponies Should Not Receive a Full Dose

All horses from draft horses to miniatures receive the same dose of vaccines. The purpose of a vaccine is to stimulate the immune system. All horses have the same immune response regardless of size. Administering a partial dose will not protect your horse. There is no danger that a pony will get an overdose from a standard vaccine.

Myth: My Horse is Not at Risk and Does Not Need Vaccines

All horses are at risk for certain diseases even if they never leave your property and never come in contact with other horses. Many diseases are transmitted through insects and environmental factors of which you cannot control.

Myth: All Vaccines are the Same

All vaccines are not created equal. Vaccine manufacture and handling can greatly change the efficacy of a vaccine.  How it was handled, for example proper refrigeration, from the manufacturer to your horse also greatly affects the immunological outcome. If you administer your own vaccines, you owe it to your horse to purchase the vaccine from a veterinarian and follow his or her protocol guidelines.

3 horses5 Way (TEWIR)

Equine viral encephalomyelitis (EEE & WEE)

Brain & spinal inflammation caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Both Eastern & Western forms are characterized by fever, erratic behavior, and lethargy as the brain begins to swell. WEE has a mortality rate of approximately 50 percent while EEE is fatal in about 90 percent of cases.


A paralytic disease caused by a neurotoxin in spore forming bacterium often found in the soil. All horses are at risk. Bacteria enter through a wound or puncture. Signs include extreme sensitivity to light, sound & touch, followed by rigid paralysis.


Contagious disease caused by two forms of the same virus. Symptoms include coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, respiratory issues, abortions in broodmares or neurological problems. The respiratory form may also cause progressive weakness and in-coordination.


A common viral infection of the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include inflammation of the nasal membrane, the pharynx, the conjunctiva, the lungs and sometimes the heart muscle. The virus mutates and is short lived making horses susceptible even after they have had the disease.

Individual Vaccines

Potomac Horse Fever

Contracted when horses eat infected insects. Water insects and flying insects are common vectors. Cases appear in warm weather and persist through the summer months. Symptoms are characterized by severe fever, nasal discharge, depression, colic, anorexia and laminitis.


A viral disease of the central nervous system. Signs include low grade fever, convulsions, erratic behavior, sensitivity to touch and swallowing problems.  Rabies is transmitted via saliva, most commonly through bite wounds from an infected wild animal bite. Death will occur in 2 day to 2 weeks.

West Nile Virus

A virus transmitted by mosquitoes. In horses infection generally causes little to no illness. Occasionally, West Nile infection causes swelling in the brain that produces limb weakness, muscle twitching, in coordination behavioral changes and paralysis.


Streptococcus equi, commonly referred to as “equine shipping fever” is transmitted by direct contact with infected horses or sub-clinical shedders, or indirectly by contact with: water troughs, hoses, feed bunks, pastures, stalls, trailers, tack, grooming equipment, nose wipe cloths or sponges, attendants’ hands and clothing, or insects contaminated with nasal discharge or pus draining from lymph nodes of infected horses. Vaccine is recommended for young horses or for those at risk at breeding farms.

Protect Your Horse

Set up an appointment for spring vaccines, dental examinations, and an internal parasite screening. Keep your equine partner healthy! Call us today 920-863-3220 to schedule an appointment.

What People
Have Said

"Everyone there was great – from making the appointment to the vet tech to our vet. Everyone was super friendly and nice. They took their time. We didn’t feel rushed. We were very happy and grateful to the staff."
- Anne S., Denmark