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Importing, Acclimating and Vaccinating horse from Northern Europe

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  • Importing, Acclimating and Vaccinating horse from Northern Europe

    Have a new horse coming from Holland this summer to the land of bugs and heat (VA). I have a couple of questions for those who have done this. I'm probably overthinking.
    1. Vaccinations. In Europe the vaccines he's been given include flu, rhino, tetanus. Once he arrives he will need vaccines to cover all the things we have here, including mosquito born diseases. If you've imported in the summer, how did you handle vaccinations? Don't want to bombard his system him immediately, but also don't want him getting West Nile.
    2. How have you acclimated your horses to the VA heat? He'll be inside under a fan during the day with night turnout.
    3. How long did it take your imported horse to settle into new surroundings?

    Any other helpful insights?!

  • #2
    I would do rabies asap and boost tetanus if it's been long enough. Then 2 weeks later start the protocols for EEE/WEE/WNV. What will his quarantine setup be? If he'll be stalled with fans for that, then at least that will minimize the mosquito issue.

    Acclimating to the new housing shouldn't take any longer than any other horse coming from down the road or the next state
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      I would do rabies asap and boost tetanus if it's been long enough. Then 2 weeks later start the protocols for EEE/WEE/WNV. What will his quarantine setup be? If he'll be stalled with fans for that, then at least that will minimize the mosquito issue.

      Acclimating to the new housing shouldn't take any longer than any other horse coming from down the road or the next state
      His quarantine set up is stall during day and private paddock in the evening.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, the horses from this side of the pond aren't mystical unicorns or anything so treat just like any other horse you receive. Vaccinate appropriately. There is heat and bugs at times in Holland, so it's not a total foreign concept and he'll adapt to the weather as most healthy horses do.

        Settling in varies on the creature. Some imports will settle faster than the horse that came from down the street and vice versa. You have to see what you've got, just use your sense.

        A lot of horses handle air travel better than humans methinks

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
          Well, the horses from this side of the pond aren't mystical unicorns or anything so treat just like any other horse you receive. Vaccinate appropriately. There is heat and bugs at times in Holland, so it's not a total foreign concept and he'll adapt to the weather as most healthy horses do.

          Settling in varies on the creature. Some imports will settle faster than the horse that came from down the street and vice versa. You have to see what you've got, just use your sense.

          A lot of horses handle air travel better than humans methinks
          Of course, but I just got back and it's definitely 30 degrees cooler there than it is here. Their warm days come and are gone quickly.
          My concern over vaccinating is the vets don't vaccinate for West Nile, EEE/WEE/WNV, etc over there. I don't vaccinate my horses here in one fell swoop, so would hate to do that to the new guy if I didn't have to.

          Comment


          • #6
            Listen to JB and just spread the mosquito born vaccines out over a month or so.

            My barn handled a stream of imports over many years, some from real Northern Europe, like Sweden, all shipping out of Amesterdam, no issues. If your barn practices good horse management and vaccine requirements and you skip the shows until vaccinations are up to date? Wouldn’t anticilate any problems.

            Would suggest not turning him out at peak mosquito hours, dusk or dawn, until you get the vaccines. But that’s not a bad idea with any horse.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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            • #7
              When I imported mine from Ireland I discussed all this with my vet and we worked up a program. I also imported him early spring to hopefully avoid the heat of the summer. But as another poster said, Europe is not without hot weather sometimes. What my vet recommended was 1. find out what sort of feed he got and try to duplicate here or gradually change. 2) do nothing with him for about 3 weeks - give him time to chill. Mine arrived a bit weary from the travel. We just let him relax and get used to his new surroundings for the first week or so, and I scheduled his first round of shots within a couple of days of arrival. No problems whatsoever..

              Comment


              • #8
                The only problem with doing nothing with them is that some of these horses come from a training/sales program and are in moderate to heavy work. Some do not do so well when they are given much idle time and prefer to work. Some horses find familiarity and routine in work. Again, depends on the horse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I imported a youngster from Holland in June two years ago into a humid climate. He acclimated really well. He did have one or two bouts of hives the first summer, which we thought were bug related. He would go out at night and come into the barn during the day and he did not seem to mind the temperature at all. We spaced the vaccines out into a couple visits and it was no problem.

                  I was told that the best thing to do is put them right into a program, so they don't become silly. The only continuing issue that I have is "grass glands" as he is very sensitive to the tender shoots of grass if the pasture is short. Otherwise, the adjustment was very easy. Best of luck with your new horse!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ask the seller if the horse is used to paddock or pasture (with other horses). Some horses were kept in stalls during training period or to avoid injuries before they are sold.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why would you not have vaccines administered during the weeks prior to shipping? Vaccines are easily ordered and shipped world wide. Just indicate what you want administered, and have the seller organize it through their care provider. I would not do this directly before shipping, but your post leaves me with the sense you are several weeks out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually most are shipped to a consolidators yard to await shipping so aren’t necessarily in heavy training right up until shipping. Usually take awhile after purchase to arrange the shipping and sold horses wouldnt be in a full, heavy training program unless buyer wanted and paid for it. Mare would be coming from quarantine so not in work.

                        By saying “let him chill” betting vet didn’t mean no excercise, just light work only. Have no idea on the vaccinations and what is customary, might depend on where the horse is awaiting transport. The ones I’m familiar with were vaccinated here after arrival. Others experiences may differ.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DressageLin View Post
                          The only continuing issue that I have is "grass glands" as he is very sensitive to the tender shoots of grass if the pasture is short.
                          I had this problem with my not imported horse. I went the allergy testing route and the shots and knock on her Dutch ancestors' heads, no grass glands since that treatment.

                          Good luck OP, your horse will be fine!

                          Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by paintedpony View Post
                            Why would you not have vaccines administered during the weeks prior to shipping? Vaccines are easily ordered and shipped world wide. Just indicate what you want administered, and have the seller organize it through their care provider. I would not do this directly before shipping, but your post leaves me with the sense you are several weeks out.
                            You cannot import a horse to the US that has been vaccinated within 14 days of exportation. Most don't wait around a lot of time between sale and transport.

                            I think I'd prioritize the mosquito related vaccines over rabies given timing and location

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We imported a horse from Holland last year, right into the Florida summer heat and humidity. He had a rough couple of first weeks.
                              We put him on OneAC immediately and kept him on electrolytes. I think he thought he had been transported to another planet!
                              He acted as if he'd never seen a fly spray bottle and would almost sit down in his butt when we sprayed him and trying to cool him off with a shower in the wash rack blew his mind.
                              A year later he is just fine in the heat and stays out all day, happily, under the trees in his paddock as if he has lived here forever.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                An above poster mentions there is USA import regulation:14 day post vaccination. Knowing this, my comfort zone would still require me to vaccinate first. If transport is delayed a few days, and my board bill was a little higher, so be it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My last import arrived over winter, so I did rabies first, followed by EEE/WNV. If I were to be importing at this very moment I'd reverse this, go with EEE/WNV first, then rabies and the rest can wait.

                                  I'm also of the opinion of letting them rest/chill for a few weeks to adjust upon arrival, but my horse had other thoughts about that. Sitting around was the last thing suitable for him, immediately back into a working program kept his sanity and allowed him to adjust much better vs my overly caring instincts of rest & chill.

                                  Best of luck with the new horse, exciting times

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I imported from Holland in May. Horse was freshly gelded and only three so no real work program yet. He was much less broke than reported so we started with ground basics and the usual baby desensitization. We spread his vaccines a few weeks apart so as to not overload him. We turned him out early in the morning in his own paddock to start and when the bugs got to be too much, he came in. He didn’t love being alone in the paddock, but barn manager insisted as the other herds were established. Hind sight 20/20, he needed a friend. Jumped out of his 4 ft. High fenced paddock from a stand still and tore around making friends...more than once. Overall, he slept a lot when he finally got here and settled in like any other horse in a new home.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Salo View Post
                                      Ask the seller if the horse is used to paddock or pasture (with other horses). Some horses were kept in stalls during training period or to avoid injuries before they are sold.
                                      What Salo said: find out what horsie had for turnout back home... Our training barn in Germany barely turned out horses at all.
                                      I imported in Dec, so heat wasn't a problem. We did spread out the 'new' vaccinations over a 2-wk period.
                                      I hacked 4-5 days a week, but mostly low-expectations, just to get him moving and thinking.
                                      We monitored turn out carefully, but he adjusted to all-day turnout just fine. A friend's mare though *never* learned to enjoy turnout, and would start pacing the fencelines after about 30 mins. They eventually got her up to half-day turnout, but even 5+ yrs after import she never tolerated more than that.

                                      Also, what Morgan said. Most of the European horses I rode (and there were a lot) were MUCH less broke than their video suggested. With mine (owned 5 German horses over the years) I pretty much rode them like 3yos, practically restarting them to build a foundation, relaxation, and self carriage.

                                      Good luck with your new horse. Have fun!
                                      A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                                      http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Rabies! ASAP!
                                        I was at a barn years ago when an import that was not vaccinated developed rabies (from a bat, they said--not sure they figured that out or were guessing).
                                        Horse was put down, and everyone in the barn--owner, owner's young child, vet, workers, anyone in contact with the horse, had to undergo the rabies series.
                                        There were rumors of legal implications, as rabies vaccination of animals is mandatory, but story was hushed up for the rest of us.

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