All horses should be vaccinated against Tetanus. Tetanus causes a muscular spastic paralysis and once initial symptoms are observed the disease is often fatal. Clostridium tetanii spores which cause the disease are common in the environment and often enter the body via a wound.
An initial course of two injections 4-6 weeks apart are required followed by a booster a year later. Foals should receive their first injection at around 5 months of age as this is the time when maternal immunity starts to decline. For an average healthy horse after the first yearly booster repeat boosters should be given at a minimum of every other year. Many horse owners prefer to continue with yearly injections and work these into their routine maintenace - e.g. combining yearly vaccination with tooth rasping and a general WOF examination for their horse.
Any horse that has a wound no matter how minor requires cover for tetanus - if a vaccination history is unknown for a horse with a wound or several years has passed since a previous vaccination it is always better to give a booster injection.
Vaccinations are also available for Strangles, Equine Herpes and Salmonella. These vaccinations tend to be used on a much more individual basis and if you think that any of these vaccinations may benefit your horse we are more than happy to discuss your requirements. Typically the herpes vaccine is used in pregnant mares. Equine herpes has been shown to cause abortions typically in the last third of pregnancy.
Worming horses is a complex topic and no one system suits all requirements. The worming requirements of a single horse kept on its own differs greatly from a similar horse kept in a large yard. Typically studies show that horses are wormed too frequently and often under-dosed. Faecal worm eggs counts are a good guide to determine if a horse requires worming. These are cheap and simple to perform and can be done at the clinic.
There are three main types of worms that need to be addressed. Roundworms, tapeworms and Pinworms. A yearly worming program needs to address all three of these types of worms correctly. A well worked out worming program which combines appropriate dosing and faecal egg counts typically works out to be more cost effective for the owner, reduce the chance of resistance to any of the wormers occurring and requires less drug per horse per year.Our standard protocol for worming horses is as follows. The year is divded into the four seasons. A faecal worm egg count is performed in the spring, summer and autumn with any horses showing a positive result wormed with a straight ivermectin based wormer. A 3 in one womer containing moxidectin, praaziquantel and oxfendazol is used in the winter. This covers round worms, encysted round worms, bots, tapes and pin worms. This protocol is tailed to the individual or herd needs and is currently working exceptionally well for individual horse owners and also for several pony clubs, dramatically reducing the amount of worming product used and saving money in the process.If you would like to save money on your worming program then please contact one of the vets to discuss your horses requirements.