Horse Health

Perform All Year Long

January 31, 2013

Make vaccinations a part of winter horse health and show preparation.

Courtesy of Pfizer Animal Health.

Whenever you expose your horses to other horses, you pose a risk to their health. Photo courtesy of Pfizer Animal Health.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer Animal Health

As you prepare your horses for winter shows, you should expect to bring home only one thing – the grand prize, not a sick horse. Unfortunately, shows have become a breeding ground for disease transfer.

Recent national events have been linked to disease outbreaks. Last year, 90 confirmed cases of equine herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1) were traced to the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships, which was in Ogden, Utah, in May. The outbreak of EHV-1 after this event resulted in the euthanasia or death of 13 horses and the cancellation or rescheduling of horse shows and competitions throughout the western states.1

Whenever you expose your horses to other horses, you pose a risk to their health. But there are things you can do to help protect your horse from disease – most importantly, vaccinations. For the control of infectious diseases, vaccinations are an integral part of good equine management to help maximize the health, productivity and performance of horses.2

You care about your horse’s health. So we’ve created the Common Horse Health Issues report to help you better understand diseases and illnesses that horses can be faced with.

For help designing a vaccination program customized for your horse before show season, talk with your veterinarian and follow the set of guidelines developed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. These guidelines are divided into two categories: core vaccines, which should be administered to all horses, and risk-based vaccines, which should be administered to horses with certain risk factors. Core vaccines can help protect your horses against fatal diseases such as West Nile, eastern equine encephalomyelitis, western equine encephalomyelitis, tetanus and rabies.

Veterinarians may recommend protection against equine influenza and equine herpesvirus (also known as rhinopneumonitis) types 1 and 4, which are common risk-based diseases, based on the risk of infection for your horse. Geographic location, amount of travel, incidence of disease, environment, age, previous medical history and cost of immunization versus potential cost of disease are factors your veterinarian might consider.2

Vaccination before show season can not only help protect your competing horses but also can help prevent loss of performance and training time. For example, without vaccination against equine influenza virus (EIV), horse owners can face a financial risk of up to $885, based on diagnostics, treatment and days of missed training.* The new equine risk calculator available soon for FLUVAC INNOVATOR® compares the cost of vaccination with the cost to treat for disease and training days lost. Using the calculator, a horse owner or veterinarian can determine equine influenza risk depending on the horse’s vaccination status and help devise a rational vaccination program based on this degree of risk.

Vaccines such as the WEST NILE-INNOVATOR® or FLUVAC INNOVATOR lines of products help provide demonstrated efficacy and help assure you and your veterinarian that your horse’s vaccination program includes reliable disease protection.

With AQHA’s Common Horse Health Issues report, you’ll get a more detailed understanding of strangles, equine herpesvirus, West Nile virus and other diseases and infections that affect our equine friends.

Although disease can be a cause for concern at winter shows, the guidance of your veterinarian and the right vaccination program can help protect your horse – helping

ensure a healthy and successful winter show season.

For more on the Pfizer Animal Health line of vaccines, contact your Pfizer Animal Health representative, call 855-4AH-PFIZER (855-424-7349) or visit https://animalhealth.pfizer.com/sites/pahweb/US/EN/Pages/Equine.aspx.

1 The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care. EHV-1 Outbreak: USDA Releases Final Situation Report. June 24, 2011. Available at: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/27548/ehv-1-outbreak-usda-releases-final-situation-report. Accessed January 10, 2013.
2 American Association of Equine Practitioners. Principles of Vaccination. 2012. Available at: www.aaep.org/principles_vaccination.htm. Accessed January 10, 2013.

*These costs are based on diagnostics, treatment and days of missed training based on the probability of mild, moderate or severe equine influenza in an unvaccinated horse.
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