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Common Equine Vaccinations

| Mules | June 14, 2014

Here is a list of common vaccinations for your Mules and Horses

TETANUS; sometimes called “lockjaw”, symptoms include muscle stiffness and rigidity, hypersensitivity, flared nostrils, and the legs stiffly held in a sawhorse stance. As this disease progresses muscles in the face and jaw stiffen, preventing the animal from eating or drinking. More than 80% of all affected mules or horses will die. All equines. Foals at 2-4 months. Annually thereafter. Brood mares 4-6 weeks before foaling

INFLUENZA; one of the most common respiratory diseases in equines.
This virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted from equine to equine over distances as far as 30 yards by snorting or coughing. Symptoms are nasal discharge, dry cough, fever, depression, and loss of appetite. If your equine is exposed to other equines they need to be vaccinated against influenza. Most equines. Foals at 3-6 months, then every 3 months. Traveling equines every 3 months. Brood mares biannually, plus booster 4-6 weeks pre-foaling.

ENCEPHALOMYELITIS; sometimes called “sleeping sickness”. Most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes, after they have acquired it from birds and rodents. While humans are susceptible when bitten by a mosquito, direct equine to equine or equine to human transmission is very rare. Early signs include loss of appetite, fever, and depression. As it progresses a mule may stagger when it walks and paralysis develops in later stages. Symptoms may vary widely but all result from the degeneration of the brain. The death rate is 70 to 90 percent of infected equines. All equines. Foals at 2-4 months. Annually in the spring thereafter. Broodmares at 4-6 weeks before foaling.

RHINOPNEUMONITIS; is actually two distinct viruses, equine herpes virus type 1 and equine herpes virus type 4. Both cause respiratory tract problems, and EHV-1 may also cause abortion, foal death and paralysis. Infected equines may be feverish and lethargic and may lose appetite and experience nasal discharge and a cough. Young animals suffer most from respiratory tract infections and may develop pneumonia secondary to EHV -1. Rhinopneumontis is spread by aerosol and by direct contact with secretions, utensils, and drinking water. The virus can be present but unapparent in the carrier animals. Immune protection is short, therefore pregnant mares are vaccinated at least during the 5th, 7th and 9th months of gestation, and youngsters at high risk need a booster at least every three months. Many vets recommend vaccinating at two month intervals year-round. Foals at 2-4 months and younger equines in training. Repeat at 2 -3 month intervals.


The types of vaccinations required may depend on factors such as; environment, age, risk of exposure, age, value, general management and geographical environment. Consult with your vet to determine what is needed for your mule or horse. It’s your responsibility to give proper care.

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