The wide variety of equine diseases and when best to vaccinate against them can be a bit overwhelming for the horse owner. However, The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has endeavored to make things simpler with these guidelines for fall shots in adult horses.
In the autumn months preparations are under way for winter. This is the time of year your horse should be well-protected against respiratory viruses, specifically equine influenza (EIV) and the respiratory form of equine herpesviruses-1 and -4 (EHV- 1/4) (rhinopneumonitis).
Not all horses have high risk coming in contact with these viruses therefore they are prevented through risk-based vaccines, meaning they protect against a variety of diseases that can affect certain horses but are not necessarily a risk for all horses. However, horses that are often exposed to horses from other farms, travel often and compete are at a higher risk of coming into contact with these types of viruses. Some warning signs of a respiratory virus include lethargy, high fever, mucoid (mucousy) nasal discharge and coughing. Unfortunately, horses that are exposed to this virus may be down for long periods of time from weeks to even months.
During the winter months, not much needs to be administered in the way of vaccinations unless a horse will be traveling to an area with diseases for which he would be at high risk and has not yet been immunized.
Always consult with your own veterinarian before starting or continuing a vaccination program. Also, consider adding additional vaccinations for risks particular to your area or to where you and your horse may travel.
For a complete guideline on risk-based Vaccinations visit: https://aaep.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines/risk-based-vaccination-guidelines
Elizabeth Davis, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM. Fall Vaccines for your horse. AAEP Media Partner, The Horse.