Vaccinations are an inexpensive way to ensure your horse's long term health. Most horses are vaccinated twice a year. Spring and fall shots should be considered standard practice for all responsible horse owners. Show horses that travel to many events should be given additional booster shots because they come into contact with so many horses. Included in most vaccination programs are inoculations for: influenza (flu) rhinopneumonitis (rhino), eastern and western strains of encephalomyelitis (sleeping sickness), and tetanus. Other inoculations are available for common illnesses like rabies and equine distemper (strangles). Your veterinarian will recommend additional vaccines based on your geographical location and level of activity and travel. In addition to helping ensure that your horse will remain healthy, these vaccinations will give you a chance to meet with your veterinarian and get his informed opinion on your horse's condition.
Equine Infectious Anemia (E.I.A.) is a disease transmitted between horses by blood sucking insects. Every state has regulations regarding the requirement of documentation that horses are E.I.A. negative before they its borders. An E.I.A. test (commonly called a "Coggins" test) is required at horse shows, clinics, sales, events and campgrounds as well. The penalties for not being able to provide an up-to-date, accurate Coggins certificate for each horse carries stiff penalties, so be sure you have this before you hit the road! Having a negative Coggins document is insurance that your horse will be welcome wherever you go. Only a licensed veterinarian can draw the blood for this test, so ask for an E.I.A. test when your veterinarian gives your horses their spring inoculations.