We recommend that all horse, pony and donkey owners regularly vaccinate their animals in order to prevent some serious and potentially life-threatening, diseases. Those most commonly vaccinated for are equine influenza and tetanus (and for breeding stock, equine herpes virus (EHV)).
Equine influenza ('flu) remains a very real threat to the UK horse population and we see outbreaks several times a year. Thankfully, because most people vaccinate their horses, the outbreaks are usually easily contained. However, the more people who choose not to vaccinate their horses and ponies are putting the rest of the country's equine population at risk. Equine influenza is an unpleasant infection which has the potential to shut down all horse sports and movements if an outbreak is not contained effectively.
When horses are retired or are no longer 'in contact' with other horses, some people decide not to vaccinate against 'flu. Those horses will present a 'flu risk to other horses and ponies, as well as themselves. However if those horses also no longer receive a tetanus vaccination (which is often given as a combination vaccination with 'flu), those animals are at risk of contracting tetanus.
Tetanus is caused by a bacteria which is abundant in the environment and often enters the body through wounds. Horses are particularly prone to tetanus, which is a very painful and unpleasant disease which nearly always results in death. A pony with tetanus is pictured.
Contact a member of our ambulatory team on 01638 663150 (Newmarket) or 01462 790221 (Hertfordshire) if you have any questions about vaccinations or wish to book an appointment.
Remember that if you live within our 'Practice Zones' you can save money by having your horse's flu (and tetanus) vaccination done either as part of one of our Annual Health Check packages, or on a Zone Visit day.
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