I've been rethinking my horses vaccine needs as they mature and post serious vaccine reaction. My gelding is going on 11, at my home, and not showing all winter. Typically we'd booster Flu/Rhino, and EWT. I'm thinking the flu is overkill at this point. We do it every spring as well. The EEE is fine with me as I live in the NE and its a big problem, coupled with 24/7 t/o its something I feel better doing than not. And, we are vaccinating a little later than normal...So, what would you do?
It's always good to be thoughtful about vaccines, and to make the calls individually. For my (bless them) tough, tolerant herd who have had no troubles with vaccines, I stick to a pretty "standard" program. They all got rhino/flu today, in fact, and the one who'd missed out on the EEE booster we did six weeks ago got his, too. We've had 2 frosts already, but there are still mosquitos around, and multiple cases of EEE just two counties away, so I'm not assuming anyone is safe until the snow flies!
I am so disorganized that I try to give all of our vaccines in the spring. We start in March and do a vaccine a week for a few weeks. After the boosters of Potomac Fever in July, we are done for the year. Our boys don't go anywhere in the late fall or winter, so there is no need for flu vaccine in the fall.
The AAEP has vaccine guidelines on their website. If you are someone who likes to get everything done in the spring, you will see how you can do it. I write down my plan, order all of the vaccines in early spring, and record the vaccines on the calendar after I give them. Some vaccines are best given in the spring. If you only give vaccines for the insect borne illnesses (EW encephalitis, WNV) once a year, spring may be better than fall.
I am in NE, and use an equine-only vet. The vaccines we get for the horses in October are flu/Rhino and Potomac. The remainder are done in May. I am not seeing a whole lot of insects lately around here. Since the vet bill is lighter in October, I use this time to test all around for Lyme each year and treat as needed.
I used to get it done when my horse was in a pasture with a standing pond of water; I figured it was mosquito heaven. This year, most of the water near my barn is a moving creek, so I didn't bother, since there haven't been any recorded cases of it anywhere around recently. But I would be more likely to think it should be done in the spring, before mosquito season, rather than in the fall... just curious as to the reasoning there!
Depends where you live. In the SE, where some areas see skeeters most of the year, and others, like us, can see them in Dec or Jan or Feb, depending on the Winter, it's not a bad idea to booster in the late Summer/early Fall.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
JB, you are right. I always forget that there are places with year round mosquitoes. We're in Northern VA, so our bugs will be gone shortly. We try to do EWT, potomac fever, WNV, strangles, flu, rhino, rabies, all in the spring. Since we live near the Potomac River, in an area that has had lots of PHF, we do boost PHF in July. I don't know how much vaccine titers decrease over the year, but for us it seems logical to vaccinate against the insect borne diseases shortly before the insects appear.
We do all the annual shots in fall. Just works out better for us that way. We do one shot a week. Makers of the vaccines do not recommend extra boostering, so we don't do that.
Locally, EEE is traveling across the State of Michigan. 130 cases with confirmed and suspected horse deaths on the Mich EEE Site on Oct. 1. Weather warmed up again this week so bugs are out and busy. Many of the dead horses were not vaccinated, people cutting back on expenses this year because there hadn't been problems for years. Two local cases 8 miles from me, both put down! Still no recommendations from vaccine makers to booster with an extra shot.
We give vaccines ourselves, one type each week until done, which saves on expenses. So far everyone has stayed healthy, using this method for years. We do a multi 7-way shot, strangles, WNile, Rabies. There have been Rabies cases in the State for the last 5 years, in horses that were bitten. The Strangles is a shot, not the nasal spray. Our friend has a board and training barn, had all hers vaccinated with nasal spray. New horse in brought Stragles which spread thru the whole barn, 20 some animals. Friend and barn help were like the walking dead, trying to care for all them. Quarantined for a LONG time. Horses ALL got sick, they lost two that belonged to my friend.
We have not had reaction problems with vaccines. No issues at all. Some years we show a lot of horses, other years maybe only 1-2 horses go out to show. We take reasonable precautions, never share anything like buckets, no nosing each other. Stalling, we spray them down with watered bleach before putting the horses inside.
I do think you can over-vaccinate with continuous boostering of flu shots, other things. Vaccine makers do not recommend that. And we have seen the horses who do show, get regular "helpful" shots, get sick or injured. Those horses have had some bad issues getting repaired. Their germs are so resistant to medicines that horse does not improve. Some of those horses have died because even the best meds could not dent the germs.
My horse and I go a lot of places durinf the year. She gets a full range of vaccines in the spring, rhino,flu, encephlo, strangles, PHF, WNV,tetanus,and rabies. Igive them end of March beginning of April. She has already had her 2nd set of shots the beginning of August.She got everything except rabies and tetanus.
I pretty much do them all. EEE, WEE, EWT, PHF, Flu/Rhino, and West Nile. In fact, vet will be here tomorrow. I'll be handing him samples for FEC's as well, and have him check their teeth to see if its time to get the dentist out, and do a lameness eval on both boys to be sure they're moving correctly.
I take full advantage of those twice yearly visits for shots to make sure we're on track with management, LOL. In the spring they get tranq'd and we go bean hunting.