Spring Into Spring!
Milder temperatures are here (at least for the moment, it seems) and the grass is beginning to turn green again…spring must finally be here! Along with the warmer weather and moisture unfortunately, comes the awakening of bugs.
In addition to pulling out your curry comb and putting away your winter sheets, the first hints of warm weather should get you thinking about your vaccination program. Horses of different ages and jobs have different requirements when it comes to vaccines.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has a great page to help you navigate the various types of vaccines to decide what your horse needs.
Your local veterinarian is also an excellent reference. While some vaccines are standard across the country, it’s important to know if your particular region has a higher risk for other types of easily-transmissible diseases. Some vets in our area recommend a vaccine for Potomac Horse Fever; even though it’s not generally an issue in central Kentucky, some farms in the area see a case now and again, so adding that shot to the spring boosters could be worthwhile.
Similarly to humans, horses build up immunity differently over time, so the vaccine schedule will be different for younger animals as compared to adults. Breeding animals might also have different requirements.
Your horse’s job will dictate some of your veterinarian’s recommendations. If you compete or go to clinics or trial rides frequently, your horse will need a higher level of protection.